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What are some tips for creating shaped word clouds?

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Quick Answer

Shaped word clouds are created in programs such as Wordle.net. You should explore the program to learn how to set colors and other visual elements, states Michael Gorman at 21st Century Educational Technology and Learning. You need a second program to save or print the final product.

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Full Answer

The first step in creating a great word cloud, according to Gorman, is to understand the goal of the program: to create a visual representation of a text based on the frequency of word use. Copy a text and go to a site such as Wordle.net, where you paste it into the appropriate box. The program returns a cloud made of the text that is printed using the computer's print screen button. You can also copy it into Word, Paint or other programs, and then print or use it in other formats.

Gorman adds that the user can easily manipulate the program to emphasize certain words that might not appear as frequently in the original text by simply typing the words in several extra times. Another tip is to replace the space between compound terms with a tilde (~), which keeps those words together. You can also can use the Language Menu to set the program to include numbers or common words that Wordle generally omits. This menu further lets you determine how words are capitalized and vary the fonts, colors, and layouts.

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