Embedding Wordles Into Blog Posts

Have you become addicted to Wordle like me? The Wordle addiction is definitely spreading but embedding Wordles you create to your blog post can be tricky.

What is Wordle?

Wordle is a free web site for easily creating beautiful word clouds from text, URLs, RSS feeds or del.icio.us account. They are a great way of visualizing the importance of particular word in text since the more frequently a word is used the larger it appears in the Wordle. You don’t need to sign up for an account — just go to the Wordle create page to get started!

I used a Wordle recently in a conference presentation to emphasize the key reasons why educators use Personal Learning Networks by creating a Wordle using reader’s comments on “Why is your personal learning network important to you?”.

Below is a “How to Create Word Cloud Text Art With Wordle” 

Embedding Wordles in Blog Posts

Once you have created your Wordle you can save it to their Gallery and Wordle provides you the HTML code for embedding it into your blog post. Unfortunately this embeds a thumbnail image (170 pixels by 132 pixels) which is too small to clearly see the words. Dragging this thumbnail to increase size results in an image with blurred text.

The best option is to take a screenshot of your Wordle using Jing, SnagIT, MWSnap or Skitch (read this post to learn about screencapture tools). Alternatively, instead of using screencapture tools, you can:

  1. Windows – Click on the Print Screen button on your keyboard to capture desktop screen, paste (CTRL+V) the image into Paint, crop and then save image.
  2. Mac – Captures images and saves to desktop
    • Command+Shift+3 – screencapture of your entire screen.
    • Command+Shift+4 – Drag the cursor out over the area you want to capture.

Now all you need to do is upload your screenshot and insert the “Full Size” (NOT “medium”) image into your blog post! The “Full Size” image provides the best quality image for viewing the text.


There has differing opinions on the educational benefits of Wordles. What are your thoughts on Wordle? What are some of the creative ways you have used Wordles? How have you used them with students?

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32 thoughts on “Embedding Wordles Into Blog Posts

  1. Thank you for writing up your wonderful Wordle directions.
    I have recently written a Wordle lesson focusing on themes in To Kill a Mockingbird. You can view my lesson at my Class Wiki Page.

  2. @murcha Thanks for letting us know how you get your students to attribute.

    @Mrs Cunningham Good luck with using Wordles with your studnets.

    @Robert The more I use Wordle the more I’m impressed with the different opportunities of how you could use it. Had a good chuckle about Obama being the most common word used on both blogs.

    @Tony I think it is excellent for those new to Web 2.0 because it is very simple to use and quite easy to be creative.

    @dargan Not sure what the issue is but if you do use Jing perhaps you can take a screencast of what is happening so I could have a look?

    @Gail (poulingail) Totally agree – Wordle definitely runs away with you regarding all the different opportunities to use. Let me know how you go using it with your students.

  3. I would like to create one for each of my students to go along with a photo of them. It will be a clever way of getting to know each other’s personalities and interests.
    We can also make one up describing our class and the learning that’s going on each month. It can be a reflection of our thoughts and ideas. I like the idea that the more times a word is used, the bigger it shows up so when the kids repeat answers, it still counts.
    My mind is starting to run away with ideas but that’s what Wordle does to you.

  4. Thanks Sue,
    Still not working.
    I’m currently using firefox. I will keep trying maybe I’ll try using Jing instead. Thanks

  5. I really loved the woodles site but I’m new to this blogging stuff and have captured, cropped saved to my pictures file and tried to upload into my about post but it doesn’t work. Ive uploaded the new version of flash player but it still doesn’r appear what am I NOT doing? HELP please.
    By the way great stuff on your site.

    I had a thought, if I can ever make it easy to upload files for my grade 6 students…..I have a way to use woodles and make sure that I know what words my students need to use spellchecker, I have them copy and paste spellchecked words into a word document, woodle it and then they have their funky new spelling words for the day/week etc.

    If you could give me some advice on uploading into edublogs that would be great, I have no problem with my facebook site!!!!


  6. Amazing power of small wordles in my posts is other adult learners I work with want to see if they get a mention, so they go and read the original wordle. Weird, but it is a good intro for learners new to web2.0, plus it is fun and simple.

  7. I also blogged about this Web 2.0 tool after the Boston Globe ran a story in their Ideas section (8/3/08) about using the tool to analyze the presidential candidate’s blogs. Wordle can engage the visual/spatial learner who might otherwise tune out when presented with an assignment that consists of comparing two essays with different points of view. I also like that we are teaching students an information processing skill that can lead to critical thinking. “What did you predict? What do you think this Wordle represents?”


  8. Hi,
    I followed the instructions for wordle that Sue posted and for once got it all right and was able to embed wordle on my blog. I think is is great and intend using it on an interactive whiteboard at the begining of sessions where new vocabulary is being introduced…the kids will love it

  9. The way I have asked my students to attribute the use of wordle is simply add a simple sentence that this image was made with wordle and add a hyperlink to the wordle website. Someone though actually had a very professional looking attribute to them, so if I can trace it I shall comment back again.

  10. Sorry everyone for my slow response. I’ve been away at an aquaculture conference for the past week. To make matters worse I’ve come home with a bad cold so may not make any sense. Apologies in advance.

    @Jan Thanks for providing us ideas of how you might use Wordle with your students. It was interesting reading your post to see the feedback of others who felt that tools like Wordle have little value in education other than the cool factor. I have to admit when first shown Wordle I was a sceptic however over time have realise that Wordle has lots of potential.

    @BlogTeacher hadn’t thought of using News to identify common words when language teaching. What a great idea.

    @omatccs Great ideas. Please let us know how the students go with creating their “this is me” Wordles.

    @Tim (Mr Madden) I think Wordles are a great way of creating images for posts and I know some are using it for ideas for writing stories.

    @Scott That sounds like a cool idea. Would love to see some photos once your students have created them.

    @tpogue I did pass on your message to Edublogs — I hope everything has been sorted now.

    @Vee Wow hadn’t thought of that idea — using it to review their learning. Great idea. Please let us know how you go.

    @Murch It took me a while to realise that you can join words together. Thanks for sharing all the different ways that you have used Wordles. Its great to know that for reluctant writers and people who are learning to use technology it is a great tool for engaging them.

    Good point about making sure that you attribute Wordle. I’m still trying to work out the best way of doing this. When you embed their image it doesn’t include attribution but links to their site. What are your thoughts on the best way of attributing?

  11. Forgot to say! that I think this is a great web2.0 tool to introduce to teachers who do not use web2.0, as it is such an easy software to use and can be used both off screen and on screen. One of our staff lacks conficence with technology but she happily created a wordle as a list of terms for her year 12 students to introduce a topic. She inserted it into Word, printed it and then gave it to the students to find the definitions.

  12. I am one who is really enjoying using wordle, especially in association with blogging. I think it adds great interest and imagery to a blog post. It is poetry in words. My students have used it for summarizing topics, key words and brainstorming. Other teachers have used it for word associations and post prompts.
    My students are starting to use it on their own initiative into their posts.
    I ased them to design a poster for a parent information evening, and one of my boys who is a reluctant writer chose to produce a wordle to summarize the key features, converted it to an image and then inserted it into MS Word.
    We love the way that when you key in the word several times, it makes that word larger so I can see at a glance which terms are more important for the topic or in the eyes of the students.
    It took us a while to work out how to add two words to a wordle without it splitting up but the ~ key allows that.
    Over time, I am sure further uses and directions will take place.
    Sue, just something to note, for readers is that wordle ask that we acknowledge the use of the site for composing the image if we use screen dumps.

  13. During the first few days of school, ask students, “What does {course name} make you think of? e.g. for “Science” you may get several shout outs for ‘experiments,’ a couple for ‘weather’ etc. print and post, maybe compare it to one you do at the end of school and see what new topics they’ve learned.

  14. I am posting this here because it seems there is no real support feature in Edublogs. The only thing I can find is the forums, for which you must log in. If your problem is that you can’t log in, you are out of luck. So I will try here. The page keeps telling me I have the wrong password. I’m sure that isn’t the case, but I asked for a new password anyhow. Then I get an email with a link that takes me right back to the page for requesting a new password. Just takes me in circles, in other words. Help! I was excited about using Edublogs–I hate to have to abandon my page!

  15. I haven’t done it yet, but I’m going to use it for an “about me” activity. I’ll have my 7th-8th grade kids type in words that describe them and have them print out their wordles and use them as covers for their chorus folders.

  16. Pingback: wordle
  17. Sue,

    This is quite weird. I recently stumbled upon Wordle, and, during a recent posting on my blog, decided to use it (with Jing) instead of searching for a topic-relevant image to accompany the posting.

    The topic for the post was the idea that we–my former students and I–are creating content rather than experiencing the creations of others.

    I am hoping to use this as a webbing tool when I resume classes. I can see this as a most useful concept mapping tool, or to help sort ideas for short story writing.


  18. For a lesson on an introduction to sociology, I have created a Wordle made up of key words from lots of different definitions of sociology. I am going to get students to use as many or as few as they want to come up with their own definition before we look at the original ones from which I took the words found in the Wordle. They can also use the words to come up with key themes or ideas within Sociology http://learn-sociology.wetpaint.com/

    Also as an introductory lesson with my new yr 7 class in Sept, I am going to get them to make “This is me” Wordles and print them out as part of a display about the students

  19. Vocab in language lessons?

    I used it just for myself, running a page of the BBC News in Welsh through it to see how many of the most common words I knew.

  20. I blogged on this very topic here!
    I haven’t yet had a chance to use Wordle with students, but here are some possibilities for when we get back this Fall. (I do not claim these ideas as my own:)
    – math: finding the mode of a set of numbers, showing the “birthday paradox”
    – social studies: take a significant document (in my case the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms) and notice what comes up as the most common words; analyze the significance, compare to other similar (or dissimilar) texts
    – language arts: create visual puzzles about book characters, movies, songs
    I do think we have to apply the caveat–what is the meaningful use of this tool. It has real “gee-whiz”, but we need to plumb it’s worth through the meaning it creates. You did that with your presetation, Sue.
    I’d love to hear ideas from others.

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