Recently I wanted to give a thoughtful gift to 22 members of my Mothers of Preschoolers Steering Team but that can add up quick. Even if I kept it to $3-5 per member! I was looking all over the place for a personalized way to give them a gift that would meaningful to each of them and possibly their families. I tried the internet, Pinterest, strolling through ornament aisles of stores. I just couldn’t find the right thing that didn’t feel like I just bought 22 of something for them. They each mean so much to our group, the ministry as a whole and to me personally. Twenty mini bottles of lotion or $5 gift cards didn’t cut it for me as I wanted to honor them.
The answer came from the school hallway bulletin board outside my 7 year old daughter’s classroom. There were over 22 shapes that caught my attention and they listed so many sweet qualities of each child. It prompted me to email the teacher and ask how she taught them that. She replied it was a website and it was easy. Well, I wouldn’t say it was so easy to just go to the site and try to figure it out, but once I did I knew that it was the perfect gift with heart! One of the leaders from my team posted the gift that she had framed and it gained some attention on how others could make one. So here goes I am going to break it down, so you can create word clouds with meaning as gifts.
First let me show you a couple of examples…
This is from putting in my blog web address. (I love it!!!)
Lovely Christmas Season words…
Jumbled up heart with my family’s names…
My Friend’s family names in horizontal layout…
Enough of the show and tell! Let’s get to it and see if I can brush off my internet click through how to directions! (It has been 11 years… I bet we can do this together!)
There is a FREE website called Tagxedo.com. (www.tagxedo.com) It is a great word cloud creator.
You can do like I have done and load a blog website or any website for that matter. It will automatically fill your word cloud with whatever words are on the site. And the more a word is repeated the bigger that word will be in the cloud. Cool, huh? No thinking!
But chances are you are reading this because a personalized word cloud suits your needs. So here goes!
1 – Open up www.tagxedo.com in a browser
2 – Click the CREATE button in the top right corner and it will open the Tagxedo Creator page.
3 – To load your words – click on LOAD in the left side bar.
> In the LOAD menu, you can upload a file from your computer, a webpage or your own text.
> To make a family name word cloud here is the “formula” I used for the clouds I gave as gifts
– Mom’s name 10 times
– Dad’s name 10 times if you want it the same frequency as the mom (I did 7)
– Each child’d name 5 times
4 – Once you have typed the names in without commas in a run-on sentence or in a list – hit SUMBIT. Your words will be put
into a cloud! WOW!
5 – Now the FUN BEGINS! Color/Theme/Font/Orientation/Layout and an ALL button!
Let’s look at the buttons by these prompts:
Rotating Arrow – this is like a free spin and it changes the cloud for you
Right facing arrow (like a play button on your DVD player) – this opens up a menu for you to make a choice
Lock – When you get one of the formating items how you would like it you can lock it in as you work on the other
components. You can unlock at anytime to adjust.
COLOR – changes the color scheme you have already chosen by a shade or two each time you click it.
THEME – choose a new color scheme
FONT – gives you a listing of all the fonts available. You can remove fonts that might not fit your theme or may be
too big. I usually click off Boston Traffic and Headline One because they are just too big.
I use the rotating arrow a lot on font to see different combinations.
ORIENTATION – gives you a menu for any, horizontal, vertial or both horizontal and vertical.
LAYOUT – mixes your words around
ALL – is the master spinner of all these prompts. It changes everything for you.
> There are 114 shapes
> You can even add your own image – which I haven’t figure out yet)
> So pick a shape — love it — keep it — hate it — change it!!
HISTORY keeps a copy of each change you made as you play with the cloud. It doesn’t save it longer than your session
> If you want to do more specialized words, skips, layout changes, you can play with these options.
> I didn’t tweak any of these.
> Theme preference for color family options is helpful.
> Font preference for the number of fonts you would like is helpful too.
Then once you are happy with your word cloud, go back up to Save/Share. You will be given many different options for saving. I save an image at 500KP (JPG). Here is how I format it when I save one: Name of the piece shape of the piece font color family. For example for the family heart above it is Wooldridge_heart_colorname.
I hope this walk through has been helpful. When I started last week, I felt like I needed someone to help me. Since I can’t loan out my 7 year old daughter, you all are stuck with me!
Please enjoy www.tagxedo.com and make gifts for those you love. Get your kids into it too! I could see this being a great way to make a yearly ornament for kiddos with what they are involved in and of course involve the year many, many, many times!
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