Tuesday 11 January 2011

Tech Tuesday - Wordle.net

This is a wonderful piece of technological silliness that I can't resist playing with. The website is called Wordle.net and you use it to create patterns from words. You just paste in 'a bunch of text', click on 'Go' and see what happens. You can also enter the URL of any blog, blog feed, or any other web page that has an Atom or RSS feed, or a del.icio.us user name.

The result is a word cloud based on the words you have entered, and although it is generated randomly, you can change fonts, colours and a number of layout settings to get a result you like. Or you can just keep hitting the 'Randomise' button.

The one above came from the Family Recorder's URL, and the one below is the text of an article about the 1801 census. Apart from their casual amusement value, these images come in handy when you need a graphic element for a web page or publication. You can save your image as a screen shot, and then crop it to your liking, or save it to the public gallery, go straight to the public gallery and sae it from there.

I used it for my New Year blog post when I had no suitable illustration, and I made a new decorative insert for the insulated coffee mug that I use at work by cutting and pasting the text of The National Archives catalogue entry for the records of the General Register Office. If I ever lose it around the office, it is bound to be returned to me - who else would own something like that?

Have fun trying it out, but I warn you, it can be addictive (works well with song lyrics and recipes, too)


  1. Thanks, Audrey, I've had a lot of fun playing with this. The images will be very useful when I can't find something else appropriate for a blogpost.

  2. I've featured your blog in my Follow Friday post here: http://goo.gl/5zcUE.