What is a tag cloud and how is this app working?The idea of a tag or word cloud is to visually show what are the most frequent words in a text. What the app does is:
- it counts how many times each word of the input text appears (the input text maybe a web page the app will download or a custom text you can type or paste from the app).
- it excludes all those non-meaningful generic words (like "and", "it", "the", "very", etc...)
- it keeps the top 100 most frequent words left.
- The most frequent word in that list gets the biggesst font size in the cloud, the least frequent one gets the smalled size, the other words get a font size in between depending of their relative frequency.
- It does the layout calculation to nicely position all the words on the screen together and that's it
How can I make a word bigger?
As described in the previous question, the more frequent a word is in the input text, the bigger its font in the tag cloud, so to make it bigger, just type it in several times!
How can I keep two words together?
The TagCloud app by default treats any character that is not a letter as a breaking character (a word separator character). For instance the text:
"John's father can't swim"
is split into 6 words: John, s, father, can, t, swim.
This settings works well in this case, the app will drop the words s and t because they are only one character long, and the word can because it is a generic stop word. So you end up with a tag cloud that contains three words: John, father and swim.
A case were this default settings is not so good is the following one:
"Marie-Antoinette was Louis XVI's wife."
By default, the app will put 5 words in the cloud: Marie, Antoinette, Louis, XVI and wife…
This sentence is about one person named Marie-Antoinette, not two persons named Marie and Antoinette. Marie-Antoinette has already been cut into two pieces once in her life, let's not do that to her again! Enable the - (dash) option to make all dash characters non-breaking.
It would also be better to keep Louis XVI as one single entry, the space between Louis and XVI should be non-breaking. You have two ways to achieve this. The first one is to use a tilde, change the text to Louis~XVI and enable the white space as ~ (tilde) option in the app. The second one is to use an underscore, Louis_XVI and enable the white space as _ (underscore) option.
Consider this more complex example:
"Peter O'Toole played T.E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia under David Lean's direction."
To prevent Peter O'Toole from being split into three words and David Lean from being split into two, modify the text the following way:
"Peter~O''Toole played T.E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia under David~Lean's direction."
In addition of the white space as ~(tilde) option, you will now have to enable the '' (2 single quotes) as ' (1 quote) option.
Note there are two single quotes right before Toole, you have to use two single quotes (''), a double quote character (") will not work!
You may even decide you do not want T.E. Lawrence to be split in three words:
"Peter~O''Toole played T*E*~Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia under David~Lean's direction."
and of course, add the * (asterix) as . (dot) option.
If your input text is in a language where most quotes are word separators such as English (it's, let's, etc...) or French (c'est, l'amour, etc...), you should refrain from using the ' (single quote) option. In the previous example, it would result in David Lean's showing up in the tag cloud as a single entry, even though you probably do not want to keep that trailing 's.