See Text in Whole New Way: Text Visualization Tools

Data mining, concordances, word frequencies, all these things can be done to analyze text and to display the results (which are usually also in text form). Sometimes though, these results are hard to read, track, and to see correlation and relationships between bodies of texts and words. Text visualization adds another dimension to data mining a text. You can see in a simple and fast way how many words make up a text, what words have frequencies next to other words, and analyze the overall theme of a text and its corpus. The following tools listed below will help you get started with building a word frequency list and using your text to visualize your data, for the most part, in an easy and simple manner.

Antconc: Is freeware that is cross platform for Mac, Windows, and Linux. It is a concordance program that gives you the ability to see text concordances, collocates, a word list (with an ability for a stop list), and a keyword list. You can export a word list with a word frequency count to import into other visualization tools.

Voyant Tools: Voyant Tools is a free web based suite of tools that allows for you to copy and paste text into a textbox, upload a file, or use an already predetermined corpus and use different tools to visualize your text. The suite includes Cirrus, a Summary that totals all the words, including the number of the unique words and a list of the most frequent words, a Corpus Reader that lets you see all your text and select certain words and highlights them, Word Trends window that shows you the frequency of a certain word or words throughout the text in a link graph format, and Keywords in Context, which just like Antconc, pulls out where the word occurs in a sentence so you can see how it’s being used. The Cirrus window provides a word cloud representation of the word frequencies in the text. You can save the word cloud as a PDF. You can also export as an html page with all the data, an html snippet, or a bibliographic citation for Voyant. You also have the ability to apply an already formatted stop list to prevent common words from showing up in your data visualization or even create your own custom stop list. Other tools on the Voyant site are Word links (creates a mind map of words) and a scatter plot (for word frequencies).

Wordle: Wordle is a free web based word frequency word cloud generator. You can copy and paste text into a textbox to get started or pull in data from a url, or an RSS or ATOM feed. It will display words that are mentioned a lot in large font and others that are as often in a smaller font. You can change the font, layout, and color scheme and even exclude words in other languages. You can print the text visualization to a printer or open in a new windows or save it into a public gallery that others can see.

TagCrowd: TagCrowd is a free (for non-commercial use) web based word frequency word cloud generator (similar to Wordle). TagCrowd allows for you to add text by copying and pasting text into a textbox, a webpage url, or upload a file. You can choose the language, max numbers of words to show in the word cloud, minimum frequency of words, display the frequency number next to the word, group similar words (English only), and type in words for a stop list. Once you run the text through and create a word cloud, the words that are most frequent will be larger and the words that are not mentioned as much will be smaller. You can save the word cloud as embedded html, a PDF, or you can send it to the printer. is a free web based chart creating site where you can enter data (like word frequecies) and display them as a chart. You can choose from different styles of charts such as a pie chart, line or bar graph, scatter plot, Venn diagram, radar chart, etc. With each chart, you can customize the title, the scale (width), where the legend appears and the color of each piece of data that will be displayed on the chart. Once your chart is built, you can publish it on the site. When you publish it on the site, you can then use the html embed code provided by to embed the chart into a website.

Edinburgh GeoParser: The Edinburgh GeoPraser allows you to upload a file of text and the geopraser finds the locations of places in your text. It will find the place on a Google Map and also give you alternative places with the same name. You can click on the coordinates and that will jump you from location to location on the Google Map. This is a great visualization tool to see where someone or something is traveling or places that are affected in the text. Demo:

Gephi: Gephi is an open source visualization and manipulation tool that you download onto your desktop. It is available for  Mac, Windows, or Linux. Gephi is a tool that you can really use to analyze your data and networks and relationships with that data. The tool can be complicated at first, but once you get the hang of how to import your data and manipulate it visually using Gephi, it is a powerful tool in your toolkit. Gephi displays data in a mindmapping design where colors can be applied, labels can be applied to the data nodes displayed. Layout algorithms give the shape to the graph which you have the ability to change on the fly (since Gephi provides real time visualization). Different filters can be placed on the data which in turn changes the visualization results of the Gephi output file and those queries can be saved in case you want to run the same filters on the data later. Gephi will help you see patterns and underlying associations with text, clusters, and networks. It is recommended that a new user runs through the starter guild and a few tutorials before importing data. A convenient feature of Gephi is that it allows for you to import your data as a .csv file. There are also plug-ins that the Gephi user community has developed that you can add to your Gephi software to extend it functions and features.

The tools above will help add another dimension to studying text and may also help you discover new meanings in your text to share with others.