Saturday, April 26, 2014

W for editing with Word Clouds

Have you ever thought of using word clouds when editing?

Using word clouds can be a good way to help writers analyse their creative pieces. By copying the text of a document into a word cloud generator you can quickly see the words that appear most frequently in that document. Word clouds can also be used to help writers see which words that they have frequently used in their own works.

Have you fallen into the trap of overusing favourite phrases and adjectives?
Then ask yourself did you intentially use those words?
Who is the story about? Their name should be biggest. This is a great way to see if you are actually writing someone else's story.
Look out for 'ly' words in your word cloud.
If you have used the same word to often think about synonyms for the word you are unhappy with. 

 Here are some good tools writers can use to create word clouds.

ABCya! offers a beautiful word cloud generator. Like all word cloud generators you simply copy and paste chunks of text into the text box to have a word cloud created. Common words like "the" are automatically excluded from your word clouds. You can edit the font style, adjust color schemes, and flip the layout of your word clouds on the ABCya! Word Cloud Generator. The one shortcoming of the tool is that it doesn't provide embed codes. You can download and or print your word clouds. ABCya recently released an iPad app for creating word clouds too.

Tagul is a free word cloud generator that offers the option to link every word in your word cloud to a Google search. Click on any word in your word cloud to be taken directly to a Google search results page for that word. Tagul creates a word cloud from text you copy into your Tagul account. Tagul will also generate a word cloud from any url you specify. Just as you can with other word cloud generators, Tagul allows you to specify words to ignore in creating your word clouds. Once your word cloud is created Tagul provides you with an embed code to put your cloud on your blog or website.

Word It Out creates word clouds out of any text that you paste into the word cloud generator. Once the word cloud is created you can customize the size and color scheme of the cloud. You can also customize the font used in your word cloud. The feature of Word It Out that I like the best is that you can choose to have Word It Out ignore any word or words you choose. Ignoring words keeps them out of the word cloud.

Tagxedo makes it very easy to customize the design of your word clouds. You can select from a variety of shapes in which to display words or you can design your shape for your word cloud. You can enter text into the word cloud generator manually or simply enter a url from which Tagxedo will generate a word cloud. As with other word cloud generators you also have options for excluding words from your word clouds.

Wordle is regarded by some as the "original" online word cloud generator. Wordle provides many options for color, shapes, and fonts for displaying your word clouds.

Using a word cloud before you post your blog

Next time you write a blog and you are wondering if you have used your keywords enough for your message to stand out consider using a word cloud. is the site that I used to create this word cloud. It is great because you don’t have to use a URL. You can actually just paste the text content of your blogs into their site and it will generate your cloud. You also have the options to change the number of words displayed, colors, font, and more, which are all great if you want to use your cloud as an image in your blog.


  1. I've never used a word cloud, I must try this out! :)
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - A to Z Ghosts
    Fantasy Boys XXX - A to Z Drabblerotic

    1. They are great for when you feel guilty that you are not writing - great fun x

  2. Not only have I never used a word cloud, I had never heard of them.
    *shrinking away with my ignorance on display*

    1. And they are pretty, thanks so much for all your visits xxx

  3. Ooh I have to try this out - never heard of a word cloud before.

    Fil's Place - Old Songs and Memories

  4. Best tip of the week. And heck, I had a word cloud as a gadget on my blog at one time and never thought to use it in writing. One of the fixes I just made to a submission (thanks to an editor) involved my using the same phrase twice. great tip!

  5. First time I've heard of a word cloud, but it sounds like a great idea. Thanks for the tip!

  6. Oh, brilliant, Charlotte! And thank you for all the links! Wordle is the only one I knew about, and I can't use it on my Linux computer. Imma try the other ones. Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting, so I could foller you home and find this MOST useful post! :)

    Marian Allen, Author Lady
    Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

  7. This is great advice. I'll have to look into word clouds next time I edit a piece of writing. Thank you so much fro the refrences.

    LittleCely's Blog

  8. Hi Charlotte - I'm pleased to call again. I'm learning so much; I've never heard about word clouds before. It sounds as if this may be well using.

  9. Haven't thought of editing with word clouds, but it does help you see at a glance which words are in there a lot. Gonna check out ABCya! I use Taxgedo. Thanks.

  10. Hi Charlotte.
    I didn't know there were so many different word cloud sites. I know of Wordle and I've used Tagxedo before.
    This is really useful. Thanks for sharing.
    Popping in via the challenge. And thanks for the visit.
    (Only 2 posts left... almost there!)
    Writer In Transit