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Posted by on Sep 18, 2009 in Art, Greg, Life, Technology, TheOnlyCin, Writing | 3 comments

My Word! Word Clouds By Wordle

I had my attention drawn to a great online tool called Wordle in a recent post made by TheOnlyCin over on her Original Cin blog page. Her idea was to use Wordle to help “illustrate” her mood and frame of mind at the time with a Word Cloud. If you visit her post there, you’ll see that her inspiration lapse has, sadly, been ongoing for a few days now.

Word Clouds as designs have been around for a while, and they produce a result that can be very effective, even striking at times. I remember spending a good few hours manually producing one for a project cover many moons ago, using Word Art tools and rotating text boxes and resizing fonts on a word-by-word basis. It was a great end result, but a hugely tedious process.

And that’s where Wordle comes in: using a java platform to produce on-the-fly Word Clouds based on words or strings of text that you enter. And it does produce some amazing effects and results. You can let the application do it all for you at random, or you can tweak the output to your hearts content.

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.

As I am in a pretty chilled mood, this is what I came up with in response to TOC’s challenge:

My Spring Mood Wordle Word Cloud (www.wordle.com)

My Spring Mood Wordle Word Cloud (www.wordle.net)

I then realised that in order to emphasise key words, they needed to be repeated in the text that you enter. So, using the words from Anna Coke‘s great poem-post, Tour Ballad Blues, and repeating the title in the input box, I got this out:

Anna Coke's "Tour Ballad Blues" Word Cloud by Wordle (www.wordle.com)

Anna Coke's "Tour Ballad Blues" Word Cloud by Wordle (www.wordle.net)

Pretty darn nifty, don’t you think?

I would love to see your efforts and Wordle creations. If you do make one, drop a link into the comments below telling us where to find it. And if you aren’t able to post one to your own site or blog, you can save it to the Wordle Gallery, and then just leave the link to that in your comments.

Word!

3 Comments

  1. Wordle has to be one of my favourite toys when I have writer's block!

    • I found that it is strangely addictive. Spent a long time on it last night just playing, changing and restyling odd chunks of text.

      A really great find OTC – thanks for pointing us to it.

  2. oh wow! that looks great, I really enjoyed seeing my writing that way!

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