Word clouds have become pretty popular over the last couple of years. I’ve made them the hard way: working in design software, changing font sizes and weights and rearranging words until they fit just right in the space I’m working in. These look great, but they can also be a real pain.

Many ways to say thank you

Word cloud created “the hard way” for a project at Michigan State University.

Sometimes you don’t need a perfectly polished, ultra-designed word cloud, but having a word cloud can still bring a lot to the design you’re working on. This is where a little web-based program can become your new best friend. Wordle.net takes the pain out of the process of making word clouds. ┬áJust follow these simple steps:

1. Visit www.wordle.net and click “Create.”

Step 1

2. Enter your words, either by pasting or typing them in, or by adding a feed from your blog.

Step 2

3. Click “Go” or “Submit”.

Step 3

4. Customize your word cloud.

By clicking on the font, layout and color options above the image, you can change the look of your word cloud. Play around to try out custom color schemes to match your brand, different fonts, adjusting the directions of the words and whether the final shape is boxy or rounded. The possibilities are endless.

Step 4

5. Save the file.

You can save it to the public gallery, or do what I did – use your computer’s built-in screen clipper or the print screen command to save the image.