Expert Review: Wordle


What can you do with this tool? What kinds of stories is it good for?

This tool creates word clouds based on a text you provide. The cloud sorts out all of the words from the text based on their prominence. The words that are more frequently used appear bigger in the word cloud and you can edit the word cloud by changing the color font and shape of the text. When finished, these images are available for printing and sharing online.

This would be a good tool for introducing a text story. It would give the reader the idea of importance of the story based on words most frequently used. The font can also be an indicator of the mood of the story since there are soft and harsher fonts to do so. Overall world can embellish a piece with a visual aid to subtly outline a story.

How do you get started using it?

One necessary component to using this program is that you must have java installed onto your computer. This is also a free program that downloads within seconds. To use this program, you first go onto and click on the link that says “create own”. When that opens, a box appears where you can copy and paste any text. Then by clicking go, your worlds is created. Here is a link to an online tutorial that shows you step by step how to use this program. There is an option to randomize the word cloud until you find a layout that you like. If you cant find one that works, there are also options to manually format it by changing color, font and text. Your word cloud can be created by not only copying text from a word document, but the text can be taken from websites as well by copying articles online and then pasting them into the wordle program.

How easy or hard is it? What skills do you need to become proficient in it?

This program is free and easy to use. There are no skills necessary to become proficient in wordle. The basis of this program is just copying and pasting text. Once your text is created into a word cloud. Many of the options to edit it to the way you like are simple and self explanatory.

Would you recommend this to a friend? Will you consider using it for your final data story?

I would recommend this tool to a friend because it is easy and does not take a lot of time to create a word cloud. It is completely free and your word cloud can be exported anywhere. I personally would not use this for my final data story because I am not using a lot of articles or text to generate my story. My findings are mainly based of graphs and charts and this form of organization would not prove anything for my final data story. It is a good tool for someone looking significance in an article by word and conveying it to the reader.

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