Click on the Create button on the Tagxedo home page to see the default shape (currently Mother Earth in the shape of ... Earth).
Click Load and enter your text into the box then hit Submit. My text was simple with 3 variations on January, an abbreviation and the year:
January:5"January", "JANUARY" and "january" will be treated as different words with "January" being 5 times more “important” than the others. I included the abbreviation "Jan" because Tagxedo works better with a variety of word lengths.
2014:3 is the same as typing 2014 2014 2014 (but less work!)
Choose your Theme ►, Font ► and Orientation ► then lock them by clicking on the padlocks. Pick your Shape ► too.
Theme = Blue vs GreySelect these Word Options, press Accept when done:
Font = a selection of the ones I like best (deselect the ones you don’t like)
Orientation = Horizontal
Shape = Oval
Punctuation = Yes *Select these Layout Options, press Accept when done:
Numbers = Yes (to allow for 2014)
Remove Common Words = No (for words like “a”, “is” and “it”) *
Combine Related Words = No (for words like “day” and “days”, “go” and “gone”) *
Combine Identical Words = No (so the 3 forms of January are all visible)
Max Word Count = 75 (reduced to stop the text getting too small)* Not strictly necessary for my text, but you might wonder why certain words or characters disappear from your own! Equally, if you are using phrases in your Word Art and you want to keep some words together then you need to know that the tilde (~) character has special powers: if I wanted "Jan" and "2014" to appear together I would load "Jan~2014" into the text box.
Tightness = 150% (fills the shape as much as possible, but slows Tagxedo down)
Normalize Frequency = Yes
Hard Boundary = Yes
Allow Replication = Yes (so that there are plenty of words to fill the shape without having to type them in repeatedly)
Font Preference = All (the ones I have selected)
To change the colours within your theme click on the Colour Respin:
Vary the position of the words by clicking on the Layout Respin:
Click on History to see thumbnails of the variations so far - pick your favourite or keep re-spinning or fine-tuning your options and choices until you are happy. For example you can try out a different shape:
That one might be better with different text and colours for a February page! What about a circle instead?
The shape-text combination didn't seem to allow for "January" to be the biggest word so some fine-tuning was needed: I reduced the frequency of the year by changing it to 2014:2 and hey presto!
Once you have played for hours (or is that just me?) and found a combination that makes you smile, Save it and have fun printing it out for use in your projects!
The images you make can be used in lots of ways: Project Life cards perhaps, a title block, a strip of background paper, a sentiment for a greetings card ... Child No.3 has just used Tagxedo to make a heart shaped image full of words about me to print on a mug as my Christmas gift - clever, creative girl!!
In the past I've even used Tagxedo to help me plan out Word Art before creating it myself with alphas (take a look here to see what I made).
There are other tutorials from the Master Forgers over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog today - why not pop over and see.