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Create Word Clouds in InDesign With Wordalizer

Word clouds are fun way to capture the essence of an article, a story, or even a whole book in a single graphic element. But you’d never want to make one manually. Fortunately, there is a great script for creating word clouds in InDesign: Wordalizer by Marc Autret. Wordalizer has been around since 2010, and now it has been updated with new features and it works with InDesign CS4–CC 2014 on Mac and Windows.

When you run the script, a new InDesign document is created to contain the word cloud. The text is arranged and formatted according to settings that you choose, and all text is converted to outlines.

The Wordalizer dialog box offers a set of well-organized options to customize your word cloud’s appearance.

Wordalizer dialog box

By changing the settings you can come up with an incredible variety of word cloud effects starting from the same word list. And after you’ve created a word cloud, you can tweak the settings and update it to change the look as many times as you like.

Wordalizer word cloud

Wordalizer word cloud Wordalizer word cloud

Wordalizer word cloud

Here are some of the key features of Wordalizer 1.5:

• Support for English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian source text

• Create word clouds from the text in the active document, from an entire InDesign book, or from the clipboard

Wordalizer settings

• Customize the word list by adding words and removing words, as well as sorting the list

• Apply up to four different fonts to words

• Choose from over 100 color themes, and then tweak colors any way you like by adjusting them in the Swatches panel after you create your word cloud

• Arrange words in eight different geometrical patterns

• Adjust case, tracking, scaling, spacing, and angles of words

The script is even smart enough to keep words separated by non-breaking spaces together

Warning: Playing with Wordalizer can be so much fun you might spend hours with your “head in the clouds,” tweaking settings and coming up with new looks.

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6 Comments on “Create Word Clouds in InDesign With Wordalizer

  1. Those in book publishing who’re looking for a reason to give their boss to justify the 29 Euro price, might find one helpful. I’ve already thought of using it for a book I’ve got in development.

    Novels can be visually dull, just line after line of sentences. Creating pictures or graphics to liven them up can get costly. This script offers one way to add visual interest. For each chapter, add a Word Cloud for the words in that chapter. It’ll even be informative. If John is active in that chapter but Jane is not, John will appear larger than Jane.

    The only gotcha I could see may just be me misreading how the text for a word list is selected. I create books as one long document with multiple chapters, but I’d like to able to insert word clouds chapter by chapter. I assume I could do that using the clipboard feature, but it’d be great if there were a wait to limit the cloud to between two uses of a particular paragraph style.

    For those who’re interested, there’s a free trial version: “Wordalizer’s TRY version offers all the features of the PRO release, except it will automatically add on the word Wordalizer into your final artwork. If you need to handle a clean word cloud in production, consider to purchase a PRO version license.”

  2. One shortcoming, major in my opinion, is that even though you can specify a shape, you have no control over size. Need a word cloud to fill an 8.5 x 11 page? How about a banner sized cloud 36 x 80? Can’t do either. Sure, the clouds created are editable type and can be resized, but good luck with them being proportional to your needs. There will be quite a bit of manual adjustment to get them to fit. I’ve used Wordalyzer, and it’s a great timesaver, but until I can specify the dimensions of the cloud, I’ll keep looking for better alternatives.

    • Since your August post have you found a work around for the sizing and custom shape issues with wordalizer and could you share. Been asked to develop a word cloud and would love not to have to create it by hand. Thanks in advance,
      George

      • Unfortunately, no. No changes since then, but I’ve also not had a need since then, so I’ve not been actively looking. As I also mentioned, I ended up using http://www.jasondavies.com/wordcloud, which created SVG files that could be opened in Illustrator and left the text editable. It’s as good a starting point as any. I still had to manually adjust things to fit the needed proportions.

  3. Roy-

    The type is all converted to outlines, so it can be scaled to any size. But I agree that it would be very cool to have even more control over the exact shape. Two questions: Have you ever contacted Marc with that feature request? Have you found alternatives that do give you that kind of control? I’d love something that would allow me to specify a path and then fill that with the words.

  4. You are correct re: outlines. I confused Wordalyzer with another program/website I used that day when looking for solutions. I ended up using http://www.jasondavies.com/wordcloud, which can save as an .svg file, and opened the file in Illustrator. That file retained text edit ability, which was important to the client for some reason. Still gave no control over dimension and less control overall than Wordalyzer. At this time, Wordalyzer seems to be the best at what it does. I will pass on to the author my request.

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