I ran across a Tagxedo image while reading a blog article and thought it looked intriguing, so I have been reading about it and made a couple pieces of ‘art’ with the software and thought some of my readers might find it interesting too.
First, there’s very little documentation on how to use the software and it seems whoever was minding their social media (Facebook & Twitter), went on extended leave because no posts have been made by them for several months and people on the Facebook page just seem to be helping each other out with questions. They say this software is in beta and everything is free right now. They plan to start charging for some of their services but they said they’ll always have a good number of shapes and fonts always for free. (Written with a grain of salt here ).
What does it do? It takes your words, or words from a particular website and uses some internal math recipe to determine how the words will be artistically arranged. For example, my first attempt is below. I put in my website home page and clicked submit. It gave me the below which looks like the shape of Africa. Then I made a dog shape filled with my wheaten terrier’s names, (in honor of National Dog Week).
How to use Tagxedo
To make a shape, I first tried using the home page where they had a ‘quick create’ box. I tried entering in my twitter id, but nothing happened. But entering in a website did work.
There’s quite a bit of customization available with Tagxedo. In the image below all of the choices are clickable and then expands into ways to make your art shape very unique. Let’s look at them:
- Color – clicking this will cycle you through various color palettes
- Theme – brings up a palette of themed colors from which to choose
- Font – yes, you have font choices here
- Orientation – makes the background change colors
- Layout – strangely enough, it seemed to do the same thing as Orientation
- All – respins all the above and surprises you
- Shape – powerful choice of image. Choose an image that reflects your art work. There are a couple dozen shapes. If you can’t find one, you can always go with a square or circle. There’s an option to upload an image, but it has to meet certain requirements
- History – cycle through your iterations and go back in time if you wish
- Layout Options – do you want your art image horizontal, vertical
- Word – this is very powerful as it gives you control over what words you want, how many times they are repeated, remove certain words, have certain words emphasized and more. Some of the options were not easily understood (at least by me). There is no documentation on how to use some of these features, so you’ll have to play around with it.
Uses for Tagxedo
The software creator made a presentation called ‘101 Ways to Use Tagxedo. You can click the slide below and go to the presentation. I started going through it, but didn’t get very far. One thing I wanted to do is create a banner, but so far, I haven’t been able to decipher the instructions below.
There are quite a few choices to choose from to save your art. You can get a 64px x 64px up to 200px by 200px in a .jpg or .png. There’s saving to the web where you can choose from small to high res (nice). There’s also print and embed (tried that and it worked great).
So with all these and more choices, I’m going to use it for making my own image for Facebook posts and Twitter pictures. I can embed a unique shape and message in my website or blog and help my clients to do the same.
As I mentioned earlier, this is free now, but may be for-pay later, so check it out and leave me a comment if you have found other uses. I’d be interested.