How do I create a Word Cloud?

I quite like Word Clouds but wouldn’t know how to create one. Can you point me in the right direction?


If you browse the web, you’re likely to come across a word or tag cloud in your travels. They are a Web 2.0 instrument that have become more and more popular, and you can actually see one on the right hand side of this blog (under tags). You’ll notice that some words are bigger than others, this is because they are given prominence based on how often they are used, which indicates their relative importance compares to the other words in the Cloud.

There’s a great website you can use to generate word clouds called Wordle. It lets you create word clouds based on a chunk of text you give it, a website or a set of bookmark tags.It was created by Jonathan Feinberg as IBM Research and is available for free for anyone who wants to use it.

Let’s give it a whirl, using a Japanese Haiku as a source:

wordle1
Clicking Go gives us our Word Cloud:
wordle2

Now isn’t that pretty? You can just imagine yourself sitting under the Persimmon trees, next to a bubbling brook, enjoying your haikus.

So what are you waiting for? Go off an make your own word cloud.

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