How to Make a Word Cloud in MS Excel

Word Cloud is a visual representation of keywords and tags used in a selection of text. You can use word clouds to show the prominence of some words over others. Typically, words used more often will be bigger than other words in the word cloud in MS Excel.

To create a word cloud you need to install Excel add-ons or use word cloud tools. There are many word cloud generators to choose from. You can choose from free or premium versions. 

Each word cloud generator has its own unique design and customization options. Some of the known word cloud generators are:

  • TagCrowd,
  • MonkeyLearn Word Cloud generator,
  • WordClouds.com
  • Bjorn’s Word Clouds, and more.

In this tutorial, we will use WordClouds.com to generate the word cloud from an Excel file. It is free to use. It offers a variety of themes, formatting options, colors, fonts, sizes, and custom shapes to create impressive word art. 

You can manually edit your word list. Another interesting feature is that you can analyze web pages, by pasting a URL into the source field. Doing so helps you identify the keywords used by your competitors. 


Create a Word Cloud in Microsoft Excel

Step #1: Open MS Excel

Create a worksheet. 

For this tutorial, the source data is text content that refers to a person’s many interests. 

You can write your own text about yourself, your likes, or topics that interest you.  

Click the File tab and select Save As, to save the file as an .XLSX file.

Step #2: Go to WordClouds.com

Open your browser window.

Navigate to https://wordclouds.com.

You can use the regular site or the Classic site tab. Both have the same tab options.

For this tutorial, select the Classic Site. All options on this are easy to use. It launches with multiple options.  

Step #3: Export the XLSX file

In the application, click the File dropdown tab.

Select Open MS Office document from the menu.

The File Explorer window will open.

Browse to where you have saved the .XLSX file. 

Select it and click the Open button.

The word cloud generator analyzes and processes your XLSX worksheet. It checks the frequency and relevance of words to generate a word cloud from the imported Excel data. 

Now that the word cloud is generated, let us customize it before importing it to Excel.

Step #4: Customizing the new word cloud 

There are various options to choose from. Select according to your preference:

Size – Click the Size dropdown tab to choose from the available sizes. You can also drag the slider to increase or decrease the size.

Word list – You can manually edit the word list by clicking on the Word list tab. The generator also allows you to import a custom word list or export the current list to a CSV file.

Click to Start multi-select – in this mode, you can click and drag to select or deselect a row. While in this mode, you can:

Click to Select all words or click to Deselect all words or click to Delete selected words or click to Clone selected words

Type a new word and click to Add a word.

Select a word and click to Delete a word.

Select a word and click to Clone a word.

You can also Search and delete specific words from the word list. 

Select a word and click to change the color of the selected word. 

After updating the word list, click Apply to save the changes and click Close to return to your word cloud file.

In our example, we updated the word list and removed many words. 

Click on icon to balance the words in the word cloud. Drag the slider and click on the icon to select or deselect the option. Play around to view the changes and select the best look. 

Gap size – Click the dropdown tab and select a size to increase or decrease the space between the words.

Click the icon to change the direction of the words from the list and click Close to save and update the word cloud.

Click the icon to Invert the position of words as illustrated below.

After generating a word cloud or after customization you may come across warning messages. The warnings are for one or more words that were not drawn as displayed above. 

Click on the warning link. The details displayed are self-explanatory. Follow the instructions to include the missing word or words.

Click OK to exit the Words not drawn pop-up box.

Click the icon to move the words Inside out/Outside in

Shape – Change the shape of the word cloud. 

Click on each of the tab options to check and select a shape. You can choose Letters, Colorful images, or Upload shapes from your saved collection.

When you select a shape, you will notice that the shape selected does not match the word cloud shape.

To match the shape, drag the slider until it matches the shape.

Note: If the number of words in your text is less, then the shape may not match. Try adding relevant words to the word list or increase the frequency of the words. The more the words, the better the shape.

Use the Upload tab to upload from your collection of shapes,

Click Close to save the selections made and close the Shape box. 

Mask – Apply an arbitrary shape to your word cloud as displayed in the below illustration. 

Theme – Change the color scheme of your word cloud. Experiment with the themes and select the one that is relevant to your text and word cloud. 

Colors – Change the background color and the cloud colors. 

Font – Use this tab option to change the font style. 

In the Font box click the dropdown arrow.

The Select a font list opens. Scroll down the list, preview the font and click Select to save the selection.

In the Font box, click Close to save the changes and update the font style. 

Wizard – Use this tab option to upload a file to generate a word cloud. You can paste the contents from a different source or you can type your text. Supported file types are PDFs, text files, and MS Office files.

After customizing your word cloud, you can save it as a JPEG, PNG or PDF file. 

Click the File tab and select Save as Image or Save as Image HD

Type in a file name, select format, and click Save to save the file.


Import the Word Cloud to Excel

Once the word cloud has been created and customized, it can be imported into MS Excel.

Step #1: Open MS Excel

Open the worksheet that you used to generate the word cloud.

Click the Insert tab in the main menu bar.

Select the Pictures icon.

From the Insert dropdown, click on This Device.

In Excel’s Insert Picture dialog, browse to select the saved word cloud file, and click Insert to import the file to Excel.

You can insert the word cloud in a different worksheet. You can also insert it in the worksheet with the text content that you used to generate the word cloud. 

After inserting the word cloud in Excel, you can use the Picture Format options. 

You can further resize, crop, or change the picture style of the cloud. 


Conclusion

A word cloud is easy to generate and you can be as creative as you want to be to generate a powerful word cloud. There are many benefits of a word cloud. It helps you brainstorm ideas, identify new topics, keywords, and more. You can also use it to showcase your skill sets and use it on your personal website. The options and benefits are endless.

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