As I stated in my previous blog post, as good as Wordle is, it does have limitations. That's where Tagxedo comes in. Tagxedo offers all the functionality of Wordle and so much more. Just how much more? Well, unlike Wordle, the user/creator is presented with a number of publishing options including saving the Tagxedo in both .jpg and .png formats in various sizes ranging from 125kb-16 mb and in a number of different formats including thumbnails and .html. There's also the ability to publish to the web in a number of different formats and embed a Tagxedo player into a web site, blog etc. All of these options are currently free in the beta version of this web app but may become premium options that will only be available in the future for a fee.
|Ada Lovelace - Computer Pioneer|
The best feature of Tagxedo is that it allows you to organize your words or tags in order to create an image or shape. This is much better than Wordle, which only allows your words to be organized horizontally, vertically or any which way. In creating an image with words, you can select an image from the Shapes menu or best of all, you can choose to upload your own image . A word of advice: In selecting an image, choose one that does not have to much detail, like a clip art type of image.
But, wait a minute. I've kind of put the cart in front of the horse here. You'll need to decide what the subject of your Tagxedo will be. You could create a Tagxedo based on the content from a web site, your tweets, blogs or your tags using your Del.icio.us ID. Other ideas include using a news story or an RSS feed. Looking for something more educational ? How about a biography, movie reviews, book reviews or a novel character/plot analysis. Want even more ideas? Check out the link to 101 Ways to Use Tagxedo. Ideas featured on this page include using your name to create a Tagxedo or using the lyrics from a song. They're are tons of other great ideas as well.
|Sample - student work|
Once you have selected your words and decided on a shape/image, you can use a number of different tools to modify the look and feel of your work. These include changing the color, theme, font, orientation and layout. The possibilities are truly endless. Once you've finished your product, you can save it locally in the different sizes and formats I mentioned earlier or you can publish your work on the web. Once again, you've got a number of options for publishing your work to the web including saving it as an image or as an interactive Microsoft Silverlight interactive application ( see example). Speaking of Silverlight, Tagxedo works seamlessly in a Windows environment. Mac users on the other hand, will have to download the Microsoft Silverlight Plug-In before they can use Tagxedo.
Other features of Tagxedo include that it supports a number of languages including Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Finally, there's a gallery that's under construction which eventually will allow users to submit their work. According to developer Hardy Leung, the gallery will be, "moderated to make this a kids-friendly place."
So what are you waiting for? Give Tagxedo a try!