Wordle is a well-known word cloud tool. Tagxedo might not be as renowned, but it’s actually a great supplement or replacement. I’ll present a terse comparison, but I take into account that there might be aspects that I have not found or seen, so please feel free to comment 🙂
Both tools are registration-free. Wordle only adds each word once, but the size of the word varies based on its frequency in the loaded text. Tagxedo adds each word multiple times, even though you might have written it only once. So if you want to illustrate and highlight how often specific words appear in a text, Wordle is the appropriate tool to use.
Both tools allow customizing words (skipping unwanted words) and editing of colour palette and font. With Tagxedo, you can additionally use local fonts on your computer. Unfortunately, it doesn’t let you choose from all of your fonts.
Regarding layout and shape, Wordle only presents the words horizontally or vertically. Tagxedo offers a wide range of shapes. If you want words to appear together, Wordle identifies and adds the hyphen, whereas Tagxedo does not.
I imagined a prosject in English class where the students should present their thoughts on what’s typically British. Based on Metro’s list of 50 top typically British traits, I loaded exactly the same words in both tools, and here are the results:
Having compared Wordle and Tagxedo, I guess what I really want is a hybrid of both… Well, if you’re excited about word clouds, you might also want to check out Michael Gorman’s introduction to Wordle and a list of over 100 ways to use word clouds in the classroom 🙂
Gorman, Michael. «12 Valuable Wordle Tips You Must Read…Word Clouds in Education Series: Part 1». 21centuryedteck. 14 May 2012. (Accessed 10 March 2014). Available at http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/12-valuable-wordle-tips-you-must-read-word-clouds-in-education-series-part-1/
«Top 50 ‘typically British’ traits». Metro. 9 Nov. 2008. (Accessed 10 March 2014). Available at http://metro.co.uk/2008/11/09/top-50-typically-british-traits-120837/