Monday, May 13, 2013

Keep Your Head in the (Word) Clouds with Wordle

A few days ago, a co-worker of mine introduced me to Wordle, and I was immediately intrigued by its potential. Wordle is a quick, easy, and free tool designed to help anyone create word clouds without the need for additional software. You provide the text that will make up the word cloud, and then Wordle outputs the resulting image. One can either copy and paste text into the tool or enter the URL of any blog, blog feed, or any other web page that has an Atom or RSS feed. After generating your word cloud, you have the option of changing the color, layout, fonts, and language.

As an instructional designer, I find that word clouds are often useful as an ideal way of positioning text to represent certain concepts visually. Wordle will benefit those interested in utilizing the educational value of word clouds without necessitating the acquisition and operation of expensive image manipulation software. Try it out today at


  1. Word clouds placed in just the right way can be really effective!

  2. I agree, I think that if they are done right, they could help the reader with the overall context of the page.

  3. I've used Wordle and a few others on pages in a course that introduce a module. Word clouds can also be a nice addition to a PowerPoint, when a photo isn't available, and plain text seems boring. Tagul has some interesting shape effects: