What is Zarb?


What is Zarb?

Zarb is a carefully conceived software package for creating exercises, worksheets, tests and transparencies. The offered functions are varied and practical, their developement is based upon twenty years of work experience in education.

Zarb seemlessly integrates its toolbars and menus with the most popular word processor Microsoft Word, and so combines the strengths of Word – working with fonts, tables, AutoTexts, grafics, etc. – with a whole range of new possibilities for educational purposes.


What can Zarb do?

The current version Zarb 4.1 contains about 70 functions – the following table explains the most important ones. New and enhanced functions (compared to Zarb 3.1) are marked in red

General gap functions new?
replaces all vowels, all consonants, or selected letters by gaps
Letter groups
replaces vowel groups, double consonants, or specified groups of letters with gaps (now with confirmation dialog)
Word beginning / word end
convert one to three letters at the beginning or end of each word to gaps
Word construction
generates spelling exercises of the type Word construction/Word breakdown
Cloze text
generates a C-test with various options
replaces selected letters or words with underscore characters
Gaps - solutions added
replaces with gaps all bold-formatted words contained in the selection. Solutions may be added
Gaps from list
finds and replaces with gaps all words that are contained in a comparison list
Gaps - punctuation
replaces all punctuation marks within selected text with gaps (square brackets)
Gaps - inner letters
replaces selected words with gaps, except for first and last letters
Alter gap form
modifies the length and/or the form of the gaps in selected text
Language-specific functions new?
Basic vocabulary
extracts words containing specified letters or letter groups from word lists (e.g. vocabularies)
replaces bold-formatted verb forms with infinitive and answer line. For German, English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Latin
Gaps - parts of speech
finds selected parts of speech and replaces each after confirmation. For German, English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Latin
English irregular verbs
generates or edits tabular exercises on the principal forms of the irregular verbs
Dutch irregular verbs
generates or edits tabular exercises on the principal forms of Dutch irregular verbs
German irregular verbs
generates or edits tabular exercises on the principal forms of German strong and irregular verbs
Conjugate German verbs
generates or edits tabular exercises on the present tense forms of German verbs
replaces the selected word with antonymous Thesaurus entries and a gap
replaces the selected word with synonymous Thesaurus entries and a gap
Thesaurus analysis
lists all available Thesaurus entries for the selected words
Puzzle functions new?
generates a crossword-type exercise from a word list (now with improved support for non-latin alphabets, like Greek, Cyrillic, Polish, etc.)
Crisscross puzzle
generates a crisscross (grid) puzzle from a selected word list (now with improved support for non-latin alphabets, like Greek, Cyrillic, Polish, etc.)
Wordsearch puzzle
generates a wordsearch puzzle with adjustable size and difficulty (now with improved support for non-latin alphabets, like Greek, Cyrillic, Polish, etc.)
generates a puzzle by arranging words that share a letter or group of letters
Change puzzle size
changes the size of a Zarb puzzle
Hidden-letter fonts
creates exercise with included hidden-letter or puzzle fonts
encodes text by means of letter rotation or number coding (now with classic output in groups of five and improved support for non-latin alphabets, like Greek, Cyrillic, Polish, etc.)
Every second letter
inserts a random letter in front of every letter in the selected text (now with improved support for non-latin alphabets, like Greek, Cyrillic, Polish, etc.)
Rearrangement Functions new?
Word/text backwards with/without gaps
four functions for variable exercises with reversion of words and texts
Anagram, Scramble word with/without gaps
three functions for variable exercises with randomly rearranged letters of words
Scramble inner letters
randomly rearranges the letters of the selected words, except for first and last letters
Scramble sentence
randomly rearranges the words of a selected sentence
Scrambled text (by sentence or paragraph)
presents the sentences or paragraphs of a text in a random order (now with option Scramble paragraphs by word for text reconstruction exercises)
Capitals/lower-case only
easy conversion of a text in all capitals or lower-case letters
Word chain
generates hyphenation exercises with variable difficulty level
Mistake text
generates a "mistake text" from the selection. The mistakes may form a solution word
Fun formats
applies different types of funny formatting to selected text
Diverse Exercises new?
Word form exercise
employs a user-defined source file to generate or edit a tabular exercise on word forms.
Matching exercise
creates matching exercise in tabular form
Multiple Choice
creates a formatted, pre-numbered frame for multiple-choice assignments
Help functions new?
Generate / edit word list
generates, edits, or scrambles a word list
Check against word list
compares selected text with a word list, points out differences, and/or generates a list of the differing items
Word frequency
counts the frequency of use for all words in a selected text
Generate flash cards
generates comfortably printable flash card templates (now in the formats DIN A8, A7 und A6)
Character-set tables
lists the selected fonts' character sets in tabular form
Insert header
inserts a customizable worksheet header into the document header
Paste text from the web
pastes text from the clipboard - for instance from internet sources - and removes any formatting
Transform table
interchanges rows and columns of a table

Many established functions from prior Zarb versions have been enhanced for better usability.

Our Zarb software also includes:

  • six hidden-letter and puzzle fonts (True-Type-Fonts)
  • tables with strong and irregular verbs for English, German, and Dutch
  • extensive source files with verbs and parts of speech for English, German, French, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Polish, and Latin
  • a source file with the standardized German basic vocabulary
  • a fully automatic installation procedure (for all user accounts on your computer)
  • a practical Overview of all Zarb functions and an extensive Manual.

Would you like to know more?

We offer you the complete Zarb Manual for downloading or online reading. It contains complete and detailed descriptions of all Zarb functions.


Where to employ Zarb

Zarb Teaching Toolbar has proven extremely useful in all fields of education - from primary school to adult further education classes, homeschooling, or companies' inhouse training - and is best suited for all learning tasks and tests concerned with texts and words, in all subjects.

Zarb is used, e.g., at schools for the mentally handicapped, but also at the language center of Beijing University and at all Goethe Institutes throughout the world. Zarb can be used for producing worksheets and tests in English or in any other Western or Eastern European language supported by Word, even with Greek and Cyrillic alphabets.


System requirements

Zarb runs on all Windows systems from Windows 98 upwards. You also need an installation of Microsoft Word, version 2000 (9.0) or newer. Zarb is fully compatible with Windows Vista, Windows 7 (32 and 64 Bit) and Word 2007/2010.


Costs and licencing

The costs of Zarb depend on the applicable licence type:

Licence (for details see below) EUR
Private Licence 62.00
Single User License
(for Schools/Institutions)
Schoolhouse Licence (small)
(for up to 30 employed teachers)
Schoolhouse Licence (large)
(for more than 30 employed teachers)

Updates from Zarb 3.1 to Zarb 4.1 are available at 60 percent of the price of a new licence.

Please note: A Single User Licence can easily be changed into a Schoolhouse Licence for only the remaining difference of amounts.

How to order Zarb

Please use our english ordering form:

Of course you can also order by phone call, letter, fax or email – for our address information see the side bar of this page.


A Private Licence allows for usage on a single PC at home. A Single User Licence allows for usage on exactly one PC of the school or institution specified on the invoice. A Schoolhouse Licence allows for usage on all PCs of a school or institution – it also contains a collective Private Licence for all employed teachers of the school or institution.


Any more questions?

Please contact us by phone, fax, letter or e-mail. We'll be glad to help. Have fun with Zarb!