Note: I've done some work on the site here recently.
Some things may not work quite right. Don't panic! :-)
Just drop me an email if you see something strange.

Scripts for Educators: Free Perl/CGI programs since 1996


Free Online Hangman script


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[Demo] [Who's using?] [System Requirements] [Download!] [Bug Fix Announcements] [Changelog] [License]

Program Summary

[Version 0.1 Released 02/21/2004]

SFEHangman lets you set up a simple, online hangman game on your website. Like all these scripts, it will work on many hosting providers, even on cheap web hosting. The idea behind hangman is this: you start out with an empty gallows, and a set of blank spaces, each for one letter of a word. If you guess wrong, part of a figure appears hanging from the gallows. (E.g., first the head, then the neck, torso, arms, legs, etc.) For each wrong guess, another part appears until the entire "body" has shown up. If you haven't guessed the word by then, you lose! If you do guess the word, you win. It's pretty simple. :-)
I'm attempting to support some non-English languages in this script. Specifically, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian, Norwegian, and Swedish. If you choose one of these languages, then an extra set of buttons will show up in the guessing screens for the non-English accented characters. In the admin or Add wordlist screens, a set of buttons will show up with lower-case and upper-case accented characters for the language you've chosen. When creating a wordlist, you can click on one of the buttons, and it will place that character into the wordlist text field.

NOTE: To type accented characters into the wordlist title or description fields, you'll need to use the Alt-NNNN keys under Windows or other similar thing for your operating system. It's important to note, however, that if you don't use the buttons for adding words to the wordlists, the accented characters may not work right. The reason for this is that I've used the Windows Alt-NNNN codes to put the various characters into the program, so that's all the program knows about. If you use a different way of doing it, it may not work at all. (I'll be doing some more research on a more "portable" way to accomplish this, but right now I'm doing it based on the advice of an American teacher of French. Language encoding for computing is something I haven't worked with much.)

At any rate, English will work fine regardless. :-)

You can set the program to use one language no matter what, or to allow individuals to change the language being used. The demo is set to allow you to change languages. Once you change the language, it will mostly stay where you left it, except for if you choose one of the "Admin," "Add Wordlist," or "Main" links at the bottom.



Working Demo

To view a working demo version of this program, please   click here.

To log into the administration portion of the program, use the following:

Username: admin
Password: test


Who's Using SFEHangman?

 If you've gotten SFEHangman to work, send me the address of your website and I'll post a link to it.

SFEHangman has only recently been released, so I only know of one site using it! If you've gotten it to work on your site, drop me a line and I'll link to your hangman game here.

School is has a French version of Hangman.
Families with Children from China have a very nicely customized version of the script on their page.
ESL Teacher's Board has a nice setup. is using SFEHangman along with SFEBlackJack and SFEPoker.


System Requirements

The web server where this script will be installed must have Perl 5.000 or higher. Scripts that send email require that "Sendmail" or "qmail-inject" be available on Unix/Linux-type systems. Scripts that send email under Windows-based systems require use of the Socket Perl module ( All scripts may require the Perl CGI module, .

This script is NOT supported on the following web hosting providers:

Also, sorry, but the scripts are not supported under mod_perl, PerlEx, or speedy_cgi as I don't have any way to test them in that environment. :-(

You must be able to execute cgi programs on your web server. If you're not sure whether you have permission to do this, or are not sure how to configure the files, please ask your system administrator, or check the web pages of your web hosting provider for Help or Support information. For a free web hosting provider who supports CGI scripts, or low-cost web hosting providers, you can try looking at the "Some Places to Host your Website" page I've put together.

The web server must support both the GET and POST request methods. (Ask your hosting provider about this if you're not sure.)

Please remember: you get what you pay for, and free web hosting services are often worth what you pay for them.



But first, the obligatory plea for funding. :-)
(Scroll down if you don't want to read this part. You do NOT have to give money to download these scripts!)

Like the scripts? Give me a dollar, or say thanks! 

If you like the scripts, you can send me cash through PayPal, Amazon, or through snail mail or you can show your support in other ways. Remember: only about one out of 100 people who download the scripts even says "Thanks." :-)

All the files you need are contained in these packages. Download it in the format you wish.

Gzipped Tar format: sfehangman.tar.gz
Zip format:

On a Unix-type system, if you have console or command prompt access, you may unzip the tar.gz file by typing 'gunzip < sfehangman.tar.gz | tar -xvf -'. If you're not very familiar with Unix, you may want to ask someone who is to help you. The latest version of Stuffit for the Mac will also handle tar.gz files.

If you have MS Windows, there is a program called WinZip (available at TuCows) which will uncompress and de-archive tar/gz files as well as Zip files.

The package contains the following files:

The actual online Hangman game program. It's the thing that does most of the work.
contains information on how to get started using the program. READ this before trying to install this!
This is a folder containing all the little Hangman gif images.
This is just a text file that keeps track of users who are allowed to add wordlists. It's only needed if you decide you want to allow others to add their own wordlists to the program.
This is a folder containing all the Hangman word lists.


Bug Fix Announcements

I strongly recommend that you sign up here for update and bug fix announcements about this script. I will not spam you with advertising: I just want to make sure you have the latest fixes. :-)

The program will send a confirmation message to your email address when you sign up. In order to get on the announcement list, you MUST click on the confirmation link contained in that email message. This is to protect you from someone signing you up as a joke, and to protect me from being accused of spamming. Since update announcements are sometimes few and far between, sometimes people forget that they've subscribed and report me for sending junk mail. Luckily, the system logs the address, time, and date of everyone who signs up so that I can prove I'm only sending to people who asked for it. :-)

After a major release, you may get one or two messages a week. Mostly, though, I'm afraid it's less than once a month. 

You may also sign up for announcements about other scripts on the main Scripts for Educators Mailing List page. 

This list is ONLY for announcements specifically about SFEHangman: