How to Create a Word Cloud in Microsoft PowerPoint

Word clouds are visual representations of text data, typically used to showcase keyword metadata. The keywords are sized appropriately to highlight the frequency of each word.

Creating an engaging word cloud can be a great way to visualize content and add visual interest to a presentation. Fortunately, it’s easy to make one right within PowerPoint.

In this step-by-step tutorial, you’ll learn how to make a basic word cloud design in PowerPoint.

Step 1: Install the Word Cloud Add-in

To generate word clouds in PowerPoint, you need to install the free Word Cloud add-in:

  1. Open PowerPoint and select the File tab.
  2. Click Options > Add-ins.
  3. In the Manage box, click Word Cloud, then Go.
  4. This opens the Office Add-ins page. Click Add to install the Word Cloud add-in.

Once installed, you will see a new Word Cloud tab in the PowerPoint ribbon.

Word cloud add-in tab

Step 2: Enter the Source Text

The source text provides the words that will make up your word cloud. This can be a block of text from another document, website content, or custom text you type in.

To add source text:

  1. Go to the Word Cloud tab and click New Word Cloud.
  2. In the sidebar that appears, paste or type your desired text into the Text box.
  3. You can edit the text right within this sidebar as needed.

Step 3: Customize the Layout

Next, choose from one of five built-in word cloud layouts:

  • Rectangle – Standard rectangular word cloud
  • Circle – Circular word cloud
  • Heart – Heart-shaped word cloud
  • Spiral – Spiral-shaped word cloud
  • Bubble – Overlapping bubbles word cloud

Below the text box, select your preferred layout from the dropdown menu.

You can also choose the orientation of the word cloud and customize additional settings like colors and font.

Step 4: Insert the Word Cloud

Once you are happy with the design, simply click Insert Word Cloud at the bottom of the sidebar.

This adds the dynamic word cloud into your PowerPoint slide.

Word cloud example

The word cloud is linked to the source text, so if you adjust the text later, the word cloud will update automatically.

Step 5: Format and Customize the Word Cloud Further

If needed, you can format the inserted word cloud directly within PowerPoint using the standard formatting options:

  • Resize – Click and drag the corners to resize the word cloud box.
  • Recolor – Select the word cloud and adjust fill colors using Shape Fill.
  • Animate – Make the word cloud fly in or apply other entrance animations.
  • Add effects – Try applying visual effects like shadows or 3D rotation.

You can also double-click the word cloud to reopen the sidebar. Here you can tweak the source text, swap layouts, or access advanced setting like minimum/maximum font size.

Recap and Tips

With the Word Cloud add-in, making engaging word clouds in PowerPoint only takes a few clicks.

Here are some top tips:

  • Use source content with a good mix of keywords, like blog posts or articles. Avoid generic “lorem ipsum” text.
  • Edit the text to remove filler words like “and” “the” – this helps highlight keywords.
  • For more readable word clouds, increase the minimum font size to 24pt or larger.
  • Play around with different layouts and color schemes to match your presentation’s visual style.