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February 12, 2012 / carlispina

Tagul – Another Alternative for Dynamic Word Clouds

TagulTagul is a third option for those hoping to create word clouds. It offers a wide array of options for customization, much like Tagxedo, but also offers some unique features that make it a strong alternative to the other word cloud options I have discussed. As with most word cloud generators, users can pull the underlying text for their word cloud from multiple locations. In the case of Tagul, users can either paste in text or generate a word cloud from an entire website by providing a URL. But, one nice feature of Tagul is that users have lots of control over how individual tags are displayed once they have been pulled from the source provided. This control includes the ability to individually change the font, color, angle and weight of each individual tag. Users can even manually add tags that did not appear in the source material or subtract words that did. Or, if users want to eliminate all common words (i.e., “is” or “the”), there is also a separate option for that function. In addition to providing many stock shapes, Tagul just added the ability to use custom shapes last month, which gives users even greater control over their final product. Users also have complete control over the animations in their word cloud, including the speed of animations and the color of the tags that pop out upon roll over. All of this is in addition to the more standard features of word cloud generators, such as control over color scheme, font and size. Tagul also offers a gallery of word clouds to inspire those who are new to them.

Completed word clouds can be exported as PNG files, printed, embedded in a webpage or shared via URL. Users can also use the Tagul API to fully integrate a word cloud into their website. Despite using Flash for most of its word clouds, Tagul has also developed an alternative using SVG instead, making the word clouds useable on iPhone, iPads and other devices that do not support Flash. Overall, Tagul offers many of the same features as other word cloud generators, but some of its unique features will likely stand out for users that have struggled to control specific elements of their word clouds created with other word cloud generators.

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