I am a website developer, eBay trading assistant, work-at-home mum, writer and crafter.
What Are Word Clouds?
Word Clouds are a fun and interesting way to display a concept.
They say only a small percentage of communication, 7%, involves words whilst the majority, 55% is visual. The remaining 38% is related to your tone, pitch and volume of speech.
Using creative images, therefore, to illustrate a view or an opinion is a very clever way to get your point across. A picture can tell a thousand words—and using this method, it may be able to tell even more.
Creative images with words are also lots of fun to play with and with so many free and simple online word cloud generators available, why not have a go yourself. Here are 8 of the best available to use.
Ideas for Word Clouds
If you are stuck for ideas on what words to use, look around you for inspiration. You can use:
- names and birth dates of you and your family
- words to describe your home, hobbies or business
- your favourite foods, drinks, fruits or recipes
- your favourite phrases, quotes, poems, inspiring speeches or stories
- a thesaurus to add in words that all mean the same thing centred around one central topic
- words that make you happy or excited
Wordle is probably the most popular and well known of all the word cloud generators. There is no need to register to use this site, just enter your words or a URL with a feed attached, and with full editing capabilities, you can create almost anything.
Change the font, layout and colors to suit your requirements or theme. The clouds generated display greater prominence to those words used more frequently.
Print your final result, right-click and save as a jpeg, save to the online gallery or screen print your image.
Generating a cloud with this site is very easy and simple, however, so too are the options and outcome. Enter text and a basic word cloud is generated. You can alter the font (small variety of alternatives), color scheme and layout of the words (horizontal or vertical) and it is easy to save and/or print the cloud however this really is just that, quite simple.
It could be a fun way for children to experiment with words and colors however for a website, it does not offer enough flexibility and creativity.
Tagul word cloud generator requires registration. You can use a Twitter or Facebook profile and a few other options and it only takes a moment. It is free.
To generate a word cloud on this site, you can enter a URL and it will utilise the tags from that link, or purely enter the text yourself.
There are a few basic shape options that you can use, such as a heart, star or you can even upload your own shape which is a great alternative that none of the other tools offer.
You can also use animation as well as alter the colors. Because you have logged in, your word clouds are retained within your profile.
Word It Out
Word It Out uses a basic text box to generate its clouds. You can also enter a URL that has a feed attached if that is applicable to you, and once generated, you can customize the size, font, and color scheme.
It offers you the ability to ignore certain words and therefore they will not appear so if you have a lot of repetitive 'the', 'and' or 'of', for example, they can be omitted to avoid cluttering up your design.
There is no need to register or log on however to save your image you need an email, or just screen print your creation. This is, however, a very basic tool.
Tagxedo's mission is to help you create “Tag Clouds with Style” and it may just live up to its name simply because it has a few extra qualities not found in all word cloud generators.
You can make a word cloud out of a blog, a tweet, a tag or any text you choose.
The colors on offer are almost endless, so too are the font options. The fun part is that you can turn your words into shapes using a long list of pre-loaded shape designs. There are animals (just like this elephant), Christmas trees, fruit, themes, words, love hearts and so much more. You can save your creation, print it or share it online. You can have a lot of fun with this one. Turning words such as famous speeches, news articles, quotes and even your love letters into a stunning word cloud. This is by far the best option online.
Tag Crowd and Tag Cloud
Tag Crowd offers you the option to upload text, a URL or a document and whilst it does not provide for changes to color, style or layout, it does provide word frequency. The word cloud creations can be saved as a PDF file or printed from a full-screen print menu. No login or email is required and it is free to use. This is however a very basic option.
Tag Cloud generator does not allow for text, but requires the use of a URL. The outcome however is quite unique in that it generates a moving flash file. Not something any of the other tools offers. This is worth a look.
ImageChef allows the use of a comment, text or poem (if you are super creative) to create a cloud in a number of preset shape options.
Whilst they are limited to hearts, arrows, faces and a few other shapes, this is very easy to use and fun. It allows for different shapes, colors, and fonts and is easily saved for free, however larger images with higher resolutions must be paid for.
My Personal Recommendation
I personally recommend Tagxedo as your first option. It provides for a lot of creativity and flexibility and allows you to create a general shape or use a pre-set shape for a bit more impact.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 WorkAtHomeMums
livelovelaugh5 on August 09, 2012:
Thanks for the great suggestions! I know about a couple that you featured but will be checking out the others!