Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Tagxedo Word Art Tips & Tricks

This month's first challenge over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog was to be inspired by Subway Art in some way.  There are lovely examples on the blog as well as great interpretations from a some of the Master Forgers.  I thought I'd show you what I might be using for my interpretation of the challenge for the Members' Blog Hop later in the month: (regular readers will already have guessed LOL!!)

Jimjams - January 2014 with Tagxedo for Project Life
If I did Project Life I'd make myself a set of these really quickly and easily with Tagxedo.  Here's some help to get you started:

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", "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.
I chose:
Theme = Blue vs Grey
Font = a selection of the ones I like best (deselect the ones you don’t like)
Orientation = Horizontal
Shape = Oval 
Select these Word Options, press Accept when done:
Punctuation = Yes *
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)
Select these Layout Options, press Accept when done:
Max Word Count = 75 (reduced to stop the text getting too small)
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) 
* 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.

To change the colours within your theme click on the Colour Respin:

Jimjams - January 2014 with Tagxedo for Project Life

Vary the position of the words by clicking on the Layout Respin:

Jimjams - January 2014 with Tagxedo for Project Life

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:

Jimjams - January 2014 with Tagxedo for Project Life

That one might be better with different text and colours for a February page!  What about a circle instead?

Jimjams - January 2014 with Tagxedo for Project Life

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!

Jimjams - January 2014 with Tagxedo for Project Life

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.


Lesley G said...

I have become quite obsessed with Tagxedo since you posted about it and made my Brother-in-law a birthday card using it. Thanks for the tip off :)

scrappyjacky said...

Very useful....and love your 'january'

Sian said...

I love the idea of using it to plan out word art - what a great way to make a professional looking piece

Sassy Breese said...

I have played with this before. Yes it can become quite consuming.

Sandie said...

I really appreciate this Jemma. I have done one before but when I tried again it was so time consuming that I gave up. Your taking-me-by-the-hand will really help and motivate me to try again.
Thank you!

Sandie said...

Do you know what Jemma? I was inspired to have a god and within minutes I had designed my word art! I frustrated myself last time and can't think why! Your simple guide was brilliant - love it. Thank you again!! x

Sandra said...

Oh I'm guessing I'll know what I'll be playing with in the next few days lol. Thank you so much for the tutorial x

Annie Claxton said...

How clever! I've never heard of Tagxedo, thanks so much for the tips :o)

Unknown said...

Never heard of it before but that looks like super fun!

Anonymous said...

Love this and thanks for the tutorial on how to do it. I can see this appearing numerous times during the year in my PL book.

alexa said...

Your instructions seem very comprehensive and I really must give this a go. I have admired yours several times now!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the step by step instructions. I've visited the site before but wasn't quite sure how to get past the default settings and produce what I wanted.

Unknown said...

Great tutorial, thanks.

pam said...

thank you so much for this tutorial, hope you don't mind I posted a link to your blog onto "Do-crafts" forum, as lot of ladies are having trouble trying to use this program

Lisa said...

I need to pin this so that I can come back to it later - when my brain is free to use it! thanks for the really great tutorial - even though I haven't followed it just yet, I know it will be perfect to get a great result. :-)

Kirsty.A said...


Alison Emily said...

Found this last night on pinterest and today i thought lets see if i can do it so amazed how simple it was. At first I thought it hadnt loaded you just have to reboot. One thing i need to work out is what number i need to save in Jpeg and then how to make smaller for PL as it looks really large to print off. I am now going to make my Brothers card Thanks so much for your link and blog instructions it worked xxx

cinmfoster said...

thanks for the tips on this. Had no idea it was that simple.
Cindy F

LCSmithSAVED said...

Such fun! Am bookmarking your post for future reference. Really excellent & comprehensive explanation on how to use it - thanks!

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for this. I have used Tagxedo several times but your tutorial has shown me how much more I can do. Off to play.

Sue said...

I have never heard of Tagxedo,thank you so much for the help.
Sue your newest follower :)

Unknown said...

Do you know if there is a way of not jumbling up the words but using sentences instead?

Jimjams said...

Hi Lalilah - take a look at these Happy New Year cards - the post explains the use of the ~ character to keep words in a sentence together - good luck!

Unknown said...

Once you have what you want how do make it small enough to print on a greeting card, mine are all A4 size pictures.
Thanks Linda