1.15.2014

Creating Personalized Word Cloud Art with Tagxedo


Have you ever heard of a word cloud? Not me. At least not until my youngest daughter told me that she worked on word clouds at school and found this website called Tagxedo where you can create your own personalized word cloud. She showed me the ropes and we've created word cloud after word cloud, including this one where we took some of the things my daughters loves most, made them into a word cloud heart, and framed it for her room:

There are endless options for what you can create - like this little footprint for a baby boy's room:

this fun high heel (made from the words of my "Best of 2013" blog post):

Or how about a "final rose" word cloud in honor of the newest Bachelor, Juan Pablo (um, not that I watch that kind of mindless trash TV or anything....): 

Ready to create you own personalized word cloud art (for free!)? With my daughter's help, I've created an easy tutorial to show you how:

1. Start by going to Tagxedo's website {here} and then click the "Create" button:

Tagxedo requires the Silverlight plug-in to run, so if you don't already have Silverlight installed on your computer, download it when prompted by the pop-up window. You may need to reboot your computer after installation. 

2. After you have pressed the "Create" button, choose a shape by clicking on the arrow to the right of "Shape" and selecting the one you want:

3. Next, click the arrow to the right of "Theme" and choose a color combination - it changes the colors of both the text and the background. You can also click on the circular arrow if you prefer to scroll through your color options one at a time. 

4. Next, click on "Load" - this is where you'll enter the words that you want in your word cloud. If you want to use all of the words on a particular webpage for your word cloud, type the URL of the page to the right of "Webpage". Otherwise, you can enter the words that you want to use in the box to the right of "Enter Text". Put a space between each of the words. If you have any two-word text items, use a tilde symbol between the words (for example, if you want to use "Boston terrier" in your word cloud, type "Boston~terrier"). When you are done, press "Submit". 

5. Click the arrow to the right of "Font" to change your font to the one you want to use:

6. If you love how it looks, you're done! But if you want to see other layout options where the words are in different positions, click the circular arrow to the right of "Layout" as many times as needed until it's what you're looking for. You can also click the circular arrow to the right of "Color" if you want to switch around which words are which colors.

7. Another option is to change the orientation of the words by clicking the arrow to the right of "Orientation" and selecting the best option for you. I prefer the default orientation but the horizontal orientation has a nice look too: 

At any time while making your word cloud, if you make a mistake or want to go back to a previous version, click "History" and select the thumbnail image that you want to revert to. 

8. Congratulations, you've finished your word cloud! Now click on "Save" and save your image as a JPG or PNG file. Or you can click the Print tab to print it.  Your word cloud will print out in about an 8 x 10 size. If you want a different size, save your image, paste it in a document where you can resize it, and print. 


Thanks so, so much to my youngest daughter for sharing this how-to with me so that I could then share it with you. Hope you have as much fun with it as we have! 
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28 comments:

  1. ok so this is brilliant Kris.....i'm SO hoping i'll get organized and do this , this wknd....would make GREAT Valentine's gifts for my kids......thx so much for sharing!!!

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  2. This is amazing. Seriously. Thank you so much for sharing and what a great teacher's gift!!!!!

    Happy day to you friend!
    karianne

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  3. Ha! When I read the title I thought, oh my gosh Kris is so high tech I don't even know what she's talking about! :) Tell your daughter I LOVE this idea, and thanks for sharing it!

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  4. Thanks for sharing. I used to use Wordle, but it isn't that user friendly!

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  5. OMG, I will be addicted for sure too! Thank you for sharing this wonderful resource Kris! Love it!

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  6. I've never heard of a word cloud either, but this sure is a great idea! You could create countless things, so fun!

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  7. What a cool thing! Thanks to you, and your daughter, for introducing me to this!

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  8. So fun, I will definitely be making one for Valentines Day (and St. Paddy's Day, Easter, 4th of July!)!! Love it for inexpensive holiday art!!

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  9. This is actually very cute! I'm usually not big on V-day decor, but I like this idea!

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  10. I've never heard of this. I just made my first one. Thanks to you and your daughter. I want that cool frame of yours. Do share where we can find one.

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    1. So impressed that you already tried it out! Thanks for the compliment on the frame - I've had it for years but I think it was originally from HomeGoods.

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  11. Kris, very cool idea! Thanks for the tutorial. My daughter and I are going to love doing this together.

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    1. My girls have been so entertained by it and I'm sure yours will too. Hope you have fun with it!

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  12. This is very cool! I will have to try this with my 4 year old!

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  13. Never heard of it, but super cute. Will be checking it out!!

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  14. I can't do this, but gosh, I sure wish I could.

    This does remind me of the old typewriter art.........very lovely. I wish I had he technology to do this........ so very beautiful.

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  15. I love this project. Thank you so much for sharing your tutorial. I'm excited to try it myself.

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  16. Oh how I love this...thanks so much for sharing. My daughter is off to college this fall to study Marine Biology so I'm going to make a few prints for her dorm...marine life of course :)
    hugz,
    Suzanne

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    1. What an awesome idea! I spent a summer studying marine biology in college - loved it!

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  17. Wow, thank you for this very helpful tutorial. I just spent a while making word cloud art for my kids and a friend! It's so much fun.

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  18. Love this idea and your great tutorial. I made one for my oldest for Valentine's Day and am adding a link to tomorrow's post sending readers your way. Such a fun project. Thanks!

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    1. So glad that you found a good use for it and thanks so much for linking up to my project!!

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  19. Thankyou for this. I've just done one but I'm getting a shadowing around the words when it's printed. is there a way to get rid of it please?

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    1. Hi Sue, My daughter and I have done tons of these and we've never had a problem with shadowing around the words. Could the shadowing be part of the font that you selected? I would try changing the font and see if that solves your problem or checking your printer and making sure you are printing at "best" quality.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I read and appreciate each one!