Wordle was the first of the word cloud generators, and it captured the interest and imagination of teachers and students around the world. Then came Tagul, with the ability to form a limited number of images, rather than abstract shapes.
Now, an exciting new website is set to revolutionise word cloud pictures: Tagxedo, developed by Hardy Leung, is a sophisticated generator with an amazing ability to create recognizable images from words. You can choose from one of the options available, or even upload your own image shape. Take a look at some of these images from the Tagxedo Gallery
Image from http://www.tagxedo.com
In order to create Tagxedo word pictures, you first need to install a Microsoft program called Silverlight, but the website prompts you to do this before you begin. Once you are ready, upload your content – which can be text from a book, a website, a blog, a speech, a letter – whatever you choose. Tagxedo will adjust the size of the words, depending on how may times they are used. It also leaves out small ‘stop words’, so you only get the main content of the text. There is an extensive range of options to choose from: over 30 themes (colour combinations), over 30 fonts and 30 free shapes. Currently Tagxedo is in beta form and is free, but later you will be able to opt for more functionality and a wider choice of shapes by choosing to pay.
Similarly to Tagul, when you hover your mouse over a word in your Tagxedo image, it will spin and enlarge so you can read it, but it doesn’t seem to link you to a website as Tagul does (which possibly could be a good thing!)
The images created by Tagxedo, and their derivatives, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike License 3.0, and must be attributed to http://www.tagxedo.com