Images are great way to spice up your blog posts, eBooks and other websites. Using attention capturing image on a blog post can greatly increase the chances of your visitors to check out that post. The usual options to get images, like stock photos or shared images from services like Flickr are great, but occasionally you might want something different.
Let me introduce you to Wordle.
Wordle is a tool that you can use to create "word clouds" from text that you provide, either by typing or copy-pasting text to the tool or inserting an URL address. You can use Wordle to create UNIQUE images for your blog, blog posts, eBooks or even T-Shirts.
Word cloud? Well, similarly to a tag cloud you might have seen around in blogs, Wordle weights how frequently words appear in the source text and wary the size of the words based on that calculation, and generates a "cloud" out of the words.
You can tweak and customize the settings, select the font to be used, colors, how many words to use, manually remove some words, etc. Or you can use the randomize option to "browse" through the different options until you see something you like.
I could write a tutorial on how to use Wordle, but it's so simple, that it's best that you head out to http://www.wordle.net/create and give it a try.
How To Use the Images Created With Wordle?
Wordle is a Java application and you can not directly save the images it generated, but there are several ways to get the images to your blog or print.
1) Take a Screenshot and Use Image Editor to Save It
Generate a word cloud and tweak the settings as you want.
After you've finished, take a screen shot, open the screen shot in image editor, edit the image if needed and then save it.
If you want to use the image on your blog, upload it and add it to a post. If you use Wordle generated images like this, you must give attribution to Wordle.
Taking a screenshot and saving the image on Windows
- Press Print Screen key on your keyboard
- Open your favorite image editing software (even "Paint" will do)
- Paste (the screenshot)
- Adjust size or otherwise edit the image
Taking a screenshot and saving image on Mac
- To capture the entire desktop, press Command-Shift-3.
- The screen shot will be automatically saved as a PNG file on your desktop.
- Open, Edit and Save the PNG file in Image Editor
2) Make the Word Cloud Public on Wordle and Link Directly
You can save the image to Wordle and display it on any website with Wordle Applet.
If you do this, the image is freely available to everyone based on Wordle license.
After you have saved the cloud to Wordle public gallery, copy the code Wordle provides and paste it to your blog or any web page.
Of course, you can also browse the gallery and use other users' word clouds if you want.
3) Print Your Word Cloud
This is the easiest way to get your word cloud to your wall - just use the "Print..." function on Wordle application.
Not very useful for getting pictures to your blog, but you can use this to create inspirational images to your wall or even for a T-shirt using those services that take any picture, scan it and print it on a shirt. Of use the tips below to ensure quality of the image.
4) Other Options for Getting Your Word Clouds Out of Wordle
Print as PDF
- After your word cloud is finished,
- Use the "Print..." function on Wordle.
- On the Mac
- Select "Save as PDF" from the print dialog.
- On Windows, third-party software must be used.
- If you want to have your word clouds as PDFs on Windows, check out the How to Print to a PDF File on Windows -tutorial from How-To Geek.
Print as SVG
Get a printer driver that generates SVG. Or print as PDF like above and use free vector graphics tool like InkScape.
All images on this post and the word cloud images on this blog have been generated with Wordle.
You can find Wordle at http://www.wordle.net/
There you go, give Wordle a try and tell me what you think about it!