© 2012 photobookgirl photo book text

Creative Ways to Use Text in Your Photo Book – Word Collages

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Hi Folks,

Just wanted to share a new toy with you. Disclaimer: I am not responsible if you spend hours or days playing with this creative tool, so proceed with caution. These eye-catching word collages were created using a free online tool called Tagxedo, a fun and addicting program that takes words, phrases and websites – basically any text you want and turns them into these colorful collages.  The concept is similar to a tag cloud, an application that bloggers use which automatically detects the site’s most commonly used tags or categories.

The samples you see in this post are the words and phrases that describe the highlights of PhotoBookBaby’s 4th month.  I intend to use these in the baby book I’m making of his first year.  The words are “accomplishments” or activities that took place that particular month.  I can’t take credit for coming up with this idea. I happened to see a few examples where moms added these types of descriptive words alongside their children’s photos on Pinterest, but they were done more like typical captions.  Then a Pinterest user pinned this example on Pinterest of a mom who used a similar program called Wordle to make creative word collages for her daughter’s photo book.  (Pinterest in itself is quite addicting as well by the way!)  Alas Wordle didn’t work for me despite updating my Java as it instructed me to do (I’m on a Mac) and I figured I would just do a similar layout by hand on my own as I had for PhotoBookBaby’s guest book, but luckily I decided to do an Internet search and happened upon Tagxedo.

Tagxedo allows you to change colors, fonts, use your own fonts, even add your own shape to create these word collages – and currently it’s all free!  These samples you see here are all using the options already built into the site and you can easily make your own word-filled creations, for use in a myriad of ways in a variety of media.  The program allows you to save your files as high as 16 megapixels which is more than adequate for output to a photo book or printed media.  There isn’t much by way of instruction on how to use the tool, but once you get in there and play around with it, you can pretty much figure the basics.  If you want to get more specific from there and play with other settings you can certainly have more control over the results.  If you go to the site, be sure to check out the 101 ways to use Tagxedo for great ideas and tips on how to use the tool.  I haven’t looked through all 101 ways yet, but I will…

Kudos to the creator of Tagxedo – the talent and ingenuity of folks never ceases to amaze me, and how great it is that the Internet gives us ways to connect to each other and share ideas.  By the way, I have no affiliation with the site – I just happened on it this weekend and have been playing with it.  I’ve done months one through four so far for PhotoBookBaby and I have to resist the temptation to play too long with it!

Have fun!

PBG

If you try Tagxedo let me know how you like it.  Also, do you have any creative captioning ideas or ways to use text in your photo books that you’d like to share?

Feel free to comment below…

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3 Comments

  1. Posted April 15, 2012 at 10:17 am | #

    What a great find… love playing this type of tool, thanks for sharing!

  2. Courtney
    Posted March 13, 2013 at 2:07 pm | #

    This is awesome, thank you! One question – how did you get it to keep words together as a set? (for example, smacking lips) It keeps separating them for me and they lose their context.

    • photobookgirl
      Posted March 14, 2013 at 12:13 am | #

      Hi Courtney, it is cool isn’t it? Yes, you have to use the tilde ~ in between the words. For example: climbing~stairs
      I typed in my list in TextEdit and then I copy/pasted into the text window. (it would be WordPad on the PC I think). I would recommend reading the FAQ on his site. Also his blog gives good ideas too about how to use his tool. I would play with it and see what happens when you change the settings – lots of different effects depending on your inputs. It’s a fun tool!

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