I’ve recently been using various word cloud programs to analyze interactions from our online chat service and reference desk log. I’ve been comparing word clouds from different points in the semester to find trends or anomalies in the questions being asked at both service points.
After exploring many different types of word cloud programs, I’ve found Tagxedo to be a favorable option for the flexibility in design and the ease of file creation.
The homepage includes several options for creating a word cloud. For this example, I decided to analyze the content of this blog, so I put the link in the (1) field.
For past projects, I had a text file full of words, so I clicked the “start now” link and was able to copy and paste those words into a blank text box.
After the cloud is initially created, there are numerous design options of the left sidebar. This includes color, theme, font, orientation, and layout. The cloud can also be morphed into various shapes, like an apple or word bubble.
Through the “Layout Options” link, the user can find a count of the most common words and choose to exclude any of those words from the cloud. I excluded a few words, such as ‘www’ and ‘edu’ from the following cloud.
After the cloud is finalized, the user can export the file in various sizes and as a .jpg, .png, or imgur.
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