Word clouds are created by placing various words in random order, with variations of size, color, orientation or font. The most commonly known word cloud maker tool was Wordle, which is an online tool. But, Wordle does not seem to be available anymore. Here are some other tools you will likely want to explore to create your own word clouds.
You can use a famous speech, news articles, slogans and themes, even your love letters, and turn them into a visually stunning word cloud, words individually sized appropriately to highlight the frequencies of occurrence within the body of the text.
You can paste in the text you want but you can also simply enter the URL of a page, a Twitter ID, RSS feed, etc.
One interesting feature of Tagxedo is the ability to place the words inside a specific shape. I counted 114 such preset shapes. Interestingly, you can also provide your own shape, which can help create really customized results.
Tagxedo allows you to save your work in jpg and png format.
WordItOut requires you to enter the text with a copy and paste. It has fewer options than other word cloud tools. The end result is just a random cloud, without any preset shape available.
One interesting feature is the ability to create a cloud that would fit a particular area of a rectangle, so you can set it to “fit in a corner” if you want.
WordItOut has a save function but it seems to save only online, and not on your computer, which means that if you want to use the image you created, you might as well use the PrintScreen from your computer and import it into a graphic program to extract the meaningful part to then save it as a jpg.
ABCya.com is a word cloud tool for kids! It is very simple to use, with an interface that is visual. The end result is a simple cloud, with no particular shape.
One feature that might be very appealing to kids is the animation when the word cloud is created.
ABCya has some limitations as far as colors. Although it has a certain number of pre-determined color palettes, there are only 3 that would create the word cloud on a white background, and of those, two have some very light colors.
The end result can be saved in a jpeg format.
Tagul can use entered text or URL to grab the words. It is simple to use with the different options being individual sliding menus.
You can use one of the many preset shapes, or add your own, which is nice.
One interesting feature is the ability to decide the “size” of a particular word, so you can choose to put emphasis on a single word (or more than one) by changing the value it is assigned based on the frequency in the text. In addition, you can select the characteristics of each word, individually if needed, so you can change the color, font, size, angle to suit any particular idea you have in mind.
One little annoyance of Tagul is that you need to register to use their service, which is not the case with the other tools.
The export feature of Tagul is also very varied: you can save in PNG but also as a vector image, in EPS or SVG.
What is my favorite among those services? Although I dislike the idea of having to sign up for a service, I think that Tagul is the one I would most likely want to use, because of the simplicity and the multiple options it offers. What is yours?
Now that you have the option to create your own word cloud, you are ready to add them to your own project, whether it is a digital scrapbook page, a poster, a card. Use them as a faint background, or as a focal point of your creation.
What will you create? Add a link to your creation in the comments below. Or even better, post it in our PSP Showcase board on Pinterest. Can’t post on that board yet? No problem. Just ask for an invite and we’ll be glad to send you one.
Do you know of other great word cloud tools? Add them in the comments.
And if you want to create other special displays, you can use the Text tool creatively. Check out our Word Art with PSP Master Class.