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Creating Word Clouds for PowerPoint using Wordle

Learn how to create word clouds for PowerPoint.


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Product/Version: All PowerPoint Versions






Have you seen a bunch of words with similar meanings that are arranged together to form a graphic? Look at Figure 1, below to see one such sample. Such a graphic is commonly called a Word Cloud.

A sample Word Cloud graphic
Figure 1: A sample Word Cloud graphic

These Word Clouds are primarily textual art and define subjects, scopes or even ideas. Such clouds may contain words that involve or influence the subject which the presenter or the user is focused on.

Creating a Word Cloud by inserting text boxes and rotating them is possible using just PowerPoint’s native features. However, it is time consuming and the visual output may not appeal all the time. So what do you do to create a Word Cloud without having to spend time to design it? Fortunately, we've found an online application called Wordle that allows you to create Word Clouds in minutes.

Note: This application requires that the latest version of Java be installed in your operating system and also enabled in your browser (when prompted). You can check your Java version status by clicking this link.

Once you are done installing or updating Java, go to the Wordle web site, and you will see the home screen as shown in Figure 2, below.

The Wordle site
Figure 2: The Wordle site

Note: Does the Wordle site look different to you? That’s possible since the web site evolves and changes all the time. However options available would still be similar. If the options have changed, please notify us via this feedback link – thank you!

Now click on the Create link, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 2.

The link will navigate to a new page, as shown in Figure 3, below.

Create a new Wordle
Figure 3: Create a new Wordle

Here you have several options. You can either type or paste the words you want to use. Separate each word with space.

Tip: The Thesaurus option in Word or PowerPoint is a great place to find similar meaning words!

When you are done with adding the words, click the Go button (highlighted in red within Figure 3). In a couple of minutes, a new screen containing your Word Cloud will appear, as shown in Figure 4.

New Word Cloud graphic created
Figure 4: New Word Cloud graphic created

Remember you are not just limited to the default output you are provided. Several extra options are provided to you above and below the output to optimize your world cloud in the way that pleases you.

Since we want to export this Word Cloud to PowerPoint, you can click on the Open in Window button, highlighted in red within Figure 4, above. This will open the applet in a new window as shown in Figure 5, below.

Word Cloud in a new window
Figure 5: Word Cloud in a new window

The options present in the applet are detailed below.

Let's start with the top section. This section has 5 menus as detailed below:

Edit:

This allows you to redo or undo the changes you’ve made to your cloud.

Language:

This provides option to remove common words of a specific language or set the words to Upper Case (see Figure 6, below).

Options within Language menu
Figure 6: Options within Language menu

Font:

This option allows you to change the fonts of your word cloud. At the time of creating this tutorial page over 33 fonts were available (see Figure 7).

Font choices
Figure 7: Font choices

Layout

This provides options to change the layout of the word cloud (see Figure 8, below).


Figure 8: Layout Options

Color:

Using this menu you can change tweak the colors for your Word Cloud (see Figure 9).

Color changes are doable
Figure 9: Color changes are doable

The bottom section contains 3 buttons as detailed below:

Print:

If you have any printing program or a printer, you can print the output of your Word Cloud. However this export option or any other output option doesn’t provide a way to save JPG or any image formats, that you could have used in PowerPoint or any other Office program. We show you how you can get over this limitation in our Use a Screenshot section later on this page.

Randomize:

This allows you randomize the design of the Word Cloud. Play around and randomize as many times you want!

Save as PNG:

This option saves your word cloud as a PNG on your computer, in this location “Libraries\Documents”.

Use a Screenshot

Although you cannot save as a graphic file, you can still be able to import your Word Cloud graphic into PowerPoint by using screen capture software such as Techsmith Snagit. Techsmith also creates a free screen capture program called Jing. Both Snagit and Jing are available for both Windows and Mac operating systems.

If you use PowerPoint 2010 or higher on Windows, you can directly insert the screenshot of the Word Cloud right from the browser window to within PowerPoint! You can read more about inserting screenshots using this option within our Insert Screenshots in PowerPoint tutorials.

Using Wordle, you can create your own word clouds and use them as you like. According to the site there are no restrictions for usage. You can export, print on paper, clothes etc. or even import them into programs such as PowerPoint etc.

Polygon Center Circles for PowerPoint

These special circles have polygon centers: the centers are made of triangles, squares, pentagons, and hexagons! And based on the sides of the polygon, the rest of the circle has that many segments.

Download and use these Polygon Center Circles in your slides for just $4.99


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