Creating a Word Cloud in Wordle.net

You have probably seen these kinds of ‘word clouds’ online and wondered, “How can I do one of those? They’re so cool!!!” Well, this is a short tutorial on how you can make your own.

Step One: First go to the website Wordle.net. When you get there, click on ‘Create’ at the top.

Step Two: After you click on create you will come to this screen and you will begin entering the words that you want in your word cloud. Below this image will be some helpful tips.

Tip: How do I make one word bigger than another?

The size of a word in the visualization is proportional to the number of times the word appears in the input text. So, for example, if you type apple banana banana grape grape grapeinto the create page’s text field, you’ll see that banana’s font size is twice apple’s, and grape’s font size is 3/2 that of banana’s. I have also noticed that the first word that you put in is going to show up the best. For example, in mine above, the first word I used was ‘Coupondipity’.

Tip: Can I keep some words together? Can I visualize two-word phrases?

Yes! You can use either the Unicode “non-breaking space” character or the tilde character ~ between words that go together. The tilde will be converted to a space when drawing the words, and the words will be treated as a single word. See http://blog.wordle.net/2008/06/keep-words-together-with-tilde.html.

Step 3: After you click ‘Go’, if you see the following warning, click on ‘Run’

Step four: You will then see this screen: (below)

Step five: When you have the layout that you like click on ‘color’.

This is what you will see after you click on ‘color’

This is what mine looked like after I chose the colors I wanted:

Tip: Is there a way to edit the word list once I have created the cloud? If I think of new words to add, or want to remove others, it seems I have to start over.

Unfortunately, no. You do indeed have to go back to the “create” form and re-paste your text.

Well, actually, you can at least remove words, by right-clicking on them and using the resulting popup menu. This will re-layout the Wordle without the selected word.

Tip: How do I save my cloud?

Well, you kind of can’t. What you need to do after you create your cloud is click on ‘Open in Window’ – See below

Comments

  1. Julia Potvin says:

    Thanks for doing the post, and great tutorial! Appreciate it and I am planning to give it a try :)

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