As a language teacher I often use word clouds (or tag clouds). In this review, I offer my personal top 5 free word cloud generator for visualizing your text. To make a fair comparison, I will test all services on the same text — Chapter 1 of G. Orwell’s “1984”.
It is a multilingual free service, providing many cloud forms and options for customizing fonts and colors. There are attractive palettes and styles, font previews make it easy to choose. As input, you can load both text and a list of words, which can be very useful. Among disadvantages — there is no possibility to lemmatize words to the initial form, so there will be go, goes, gone, going on the cloud, not all fonts work for foreign languages.
The minimalistic service and the only one I’ve analyzed that lemmatizes words to the initial grammatical form! Simple interface, good ready-made styles. Also, the algorithm places the most frequent words closer to the center of the cloud, that is, the visual focus is on the frequent vocabulary. Of the minuses: there is not a large selection of cloud shapes.
Another super simple service with only one form option of the classical cloud. Old-fashioned interface to my taste. Unfortunately, the service considers capital and lowercase variants as different words (for example, word and Word). On the other hand, it offers convenient customization for each word, the ability to delete and change the color.
A very good choice when the functionality of the cloud is more important than the visual part. The only service that counts not only frequent words but also phrases: for example, for our fragment, it offers such collocations as a ministry of truth, big brother, etc. In addition, it is possible to download not only a picture but also a frequency list of all keywords from the text. Simple and friendly interface. Of the minuses, I can only note the imperfection of the visual range: the words are all located horizontally, often the keywords of the text are placed on the periphery of the cloud.
Old gold WordArt (ex Tagul). It is a good choice when the visual picture of the word cloud is in the first place. Here you can choose anything at all: the font and size of each word, shapes and colors. But be prepared for a long and painstaking work in a not very friendly interface. Main advantages: an abundance of customization options, stemming is offered for the English language (i.e., counting together some grammatical forms, but not the form of a verb). Of a cons — a huge complex interface and, for my taste, outdated forms from the 2000s.