Web Resources: Word Cloud Generators

Turning data into a visual representation is a highly effective way to communicate concepts and share information. We typically think of a map as a representation of geographical information, but we can also “map” data. Today’s blog is about mapping words by creating word clouds, also known as tag clouds or text clouds. Word clouds are an ideal way to visualize the key words of any piece of writing. The more frequently a word appears in the writing, the larger and bolder it appears in the word cloud. The interactive word cloud below was created from this blog post using Tagul.

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Word Clouds can be used in presentations, as images on a website or perhaps a cover photo for a social media site. Some businesses have them printed in large format* for display in the office or reception area, or on other promotional items such as shirts, bags, mugs, etc. Word Clouds can be created from reports, lists, product reviews, customer feedback, twitter feeds, blogs, newletters and more. Start opening your mind to the possibilities and get creative!

Three very customizable and free online word cloud resources are:

Tagul (http://tagul.com/)
This tool allows the user a tremendous amount of control over the final result from selecting font colors to case preference to individual word inclusion/exclusion. Interactive images can be embedded on web pages. Tagul requires you to create a free account in order to access the service. Maintaining an account allows you to save and edit word clouds.

Wordle (http://www.wordle.net/)
This tool allows the user to control colors, fonts and layouts, though it does not generate shapes.  You can also delete individual words directly from the cloud image. You can print your images or save them in a gallery to share with others.

Tagxedo (http://www.tagxedo.com)
This tool has a large selection of shapes as well as the ability to upload a custom shape. Control over colors and fonts is somewhat limited.

There are many other online word cloud and imaging tools. What are some of your favorites?

*For Large Format Printing visit our GeoPrinter service website.