Get Your Words in a Cloud

Last week, I shared photos from my friend Becky’s This Old House renovation. As you can imagine, it was a bit challenging to shop for a housewarming gift for a home renovated on national television, and accessorized by a team of seasoned designers and decorators.

Sweet and sentimental seemed the way to go.  I created this word cloud/collage for Becky and Joe, by plugging the RSS feed from Becky’s This Old House blog directly into the website, and framed it like this:

I didn’t want to make a fuss during the wrap party, so I placed it in Becky’s laundry room and showed her when the crowds had cleared a bit. She seemed to love it, but then added, “And it matches this room just perfectly.” I was a little mortified – I had grander visions than the laundry room!

As indecisive as I always, I actually left Becky with a dozen versions of the Wordles I had printed at Staples, in a variety of colors and fonts.  I couldn’t throw them away, but figured she would. She’s since told me she actually rotates them once in awhile. In the OFFICE!!

Now, About Wordle:

If you haven’t wordled anything yet, try it now! Just go to and enter text.  You don’t need to sign up or give your e-mail address, credit card or first-born.

From the Wordle website:  Wordle will create “word clouds” from text 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.

By some freak accident of copyright/intellectual property law I used to understand (waaaay back when I studied for the Bar), the genius who invented this was working at IBM at the time of wrote the code, and thus neither the inventor nor IBM can profit it off of it. So it is free. Totally. Completely. Free.

You can insert the entire text of your college thesis, your child’s report card, sweet words from your child to dad or grandpa for Father’s Day, or superlatives about your child’s teacher for a personal end of the year gift.

My son’s teachers asked me to help design a cover for the kids’ end of the year autograph books. For lack of any major inspiration, I decided to wordle it.

Autograph Book Cover Design

Wordle Tutorial

The website is easy to use and includes a great FAQ, but to save you a few minutes, I’ll walk you through wordle using the autograph book cover example.

1. Visit and click on CREATE.

2. Type in desired text under “Paste in a bunch of text.” I typed in the name of each child and teacher in the class, followed by:

  • Autographs
  • Autographs
  • Autographs
  • TK~2012 
  • TK~2012
  • TK~2012

TK is the name of my son’s class.  To give “Autographs” and “TK 2012” the most prominence, I typed each three times (that’s why the headings are about three times bigger than the names in the image above).  To make sure that 2012 appeared next to TK, I included the tilde (~) symbol between the words, which links the words in Wordle. Just copy and paste in the tilde wherever you want words to appear together.
3. Make sure to save your text (by copying to your clipboard or a word document) before clicking GO, so you can edit your text later. Once you click GO, you can change your design but you have limited options to change  your text.

4. Then click GO. Wordle will create a word cloud for you.

Hitting “Randomize” will run the creation again. You can make changes using the language, font, color and layout drop down menus.

4. To save or print, click “Open in A New Window,” followed by Print. Use the drop down menus to print to a PDF.

Happy Word Clouding!

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  1. Emily Baffaro says:

    This is amazing!
    Thanks for doing this and for the inspiration!

  2. Julie Deneen says:

    I love this!!!
    Can’t decide if I should make up individual ones for each daughter or one big one w/our family names etc for the finished basement space! Thanks for passing along the idea!!

  3. Tam Brown says:

    On you can make more images with your text.

  4. the panorama says:

    I got this website from my pal who told me about this website and now
    this time I am visiting this web page and reading very
    informative articles or reviews at this place.

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