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Acquiring WHAT

This page is in support of the WHAT (Wolfberg's Helpful Anagramming Tool) program.

The WHAT program had been available as a sold item for about ten years, but as of January, 2015, it is a free program.

We now accept donations to support this software.

The WHAT program is available at no cost for downloading. If you require getting an installation CD, please check with Mike to do this.


To download the WHAT installation file or get an individual file for updating, click this button:

If You Already Purchased WHAT Version 1

As of WHAT Version 2, it is of no advantage to you to have purchased the program. If you are using any earlier version, you must have gotten authorization to run the program. You can continue to do this, but it is recommended you switch to using the current version; also, you will not be resticted to be running 5 installations of the program.

Minimum Requirements

WHAT is initially available to run on PC computers running MS/Windows®. We expect it will work with most current versions including W95, W98, NT, W2K, XP, Vista, and Windows 7. We presume it will work with Windows 10, but this has not yet been confirmed, nor have we heard of any such problems. We believe it will NOT work with MS/Windows® Millennium Edition (ME). We have not established a minimum processor speed or memory size.

The complete installation, including documentation and definitions files occupies about 23 Mb.

When you are installing up WHAT on your computer, you should be logged into your machine with Administrator privileges, which is generally required for installing software, except not in W98.

The minimum screen size recommended to use this program is 1024 x 768 pixels, since the intended minimum size of the WHAT window is 918 x 700 pixels. If you want to play the Word-Building Game, the suggested minimim size is 960 x 642. If you want to play the 15 x 15 Game, the suggested minimim size is 968 x 653. If you want to play the 21 x 21 Game, the suggested minimim size is 1060 x 653. If your screen has fewer pixels than the above minima, some of the WHAT window will be off-screen. You may choose to run WHAT without its showing the left tabs. This has no effect for the minimum sizes for the above mentioned games. These left tabs used for standard program use are not required for most uses of the program, but they are helpful when formulating esoteric queries. If you are comfortable, turning off the left tabs, you can use WHAT with a minimum screen size of 800 x 575. If you run WHAT on a screen with a pixel density of less than 801 x 601, it will turn off showing the left tabs. According to the pixel density and window size, you may want to adjust the size of the font in the workspace. If you want specific instructions on how to alter the screen size on your computer, click here.

The numbers of pixels stated above assumes the computer is running with standard-sized fonts, which is 96 DPI. If you are running with larger fonts, such as 120, then you must increase those pixel numbers by the ratio of 120 to 96, which is 1.25. In this case, the minimum screen size would be 1000 x 719 instead of 800 x 575.

There are no definite plans to port the program to a MAC platform, but perhaps this will be done someday. We hope to port it to hand-held devices, probably Androids at first.

  • WHAT updates are inended to be done, as features are added and problems fixed. We cannot make assurances of this support, but that is our intention. Updates will include new lexicon files as permitted and as required to have WHAT work with updated North American lexicons, such as happened in early 2006.
  • Since this endeavor is sparsely staffed, we can make no definite commitments to a specific level of support, but we do intend to answer questions and make fixes and improvements to the program and its documentation as we see fit. We will also make note of user suggestions, trying to incorporate the ones that are consistent with the current program and are manageable.
  • WHAT-users Email Group

    We have set up a yahoo-groups group named WHAT-users for discussions about this program. Here are some details about this group:

    Group Settings

    Group Email Addresses

    Message History

    We will eventually have some message history here!


    WHAT comes with these lexicons at the present time:

    The WHAT part of this website also has older lexicons:


    WHAT can provide definitions in its output and in a Definitions window, and the product comes with such files for NWL2018, OWL16, and OWL2 definitions and for TWL98 definitions. There is an incomplete definitions file for CSW2015 words. The size of each of them is about 1 Mb. The WHAT User Guide specifies the format of a definitions file, and you are welcome to provide one for the program to use. At present, there are no definitions for Spanish words.

    Although these definitions files are included in the WHAT distribution, they are included here for your convenience. You can get copies of these definitions files from this web site using these links:

    These definitions files are executable, self-extracting Zip files. After downloading, perhaps to your desktop, double-click the file icon to expand the compressed version into the file NWL2018defs.txt, for example. You will be prompted where to place that file; it should go into the directory where your WHAT executable (what.exe) is. This is probably C:\Program Files (x86)\WHAT, the default choice set up for you. Once the expanded file has been placed, you no longer need to keep NWL2018defs.exe.

    Although WHAT supports multiple lexicons, it deals with only one definitions file, and the setting up to use that definitions file is done as the program starts up. You can see which definitions file is being used as part of the report given when you menu pick Help->About... from within WHAT


    To communicate with me about WHAT, please send me e-mail at:

    back to the top of this page This page, maintained by Mike Wolfberg, was last updated on June 29, 2019 .