Create Wordle-style word clouds in Protobi for text verbatims


Let’s say your study asked respondents to provide text answers to an open ended question:

Create a WordCloud

To turn this into a word cloud press the circle edit icon to bring up the context menu and select “More properties…”. Under “Chart type” select “Word cloud”. This will create a simple cloud showing all verbatim answers:

By default. this shows the frequency of each answer, with font size equal to the percentage frequency. The fonts are small because each answer is unique and represents a tiny percentage of the sample.

Typically though this is not so interesting as each response is unique.

Split phrases into words

To show frequencies of individual words rather than complete responses, select “Edit properties…” again and under “Split” type a space.

This will now split strings at each space into multiple response variables, and thus show frequencies of each word:

In this case the the font size still too small. This is because Protobi shows the font size equal to the percentage frequency by default. To adjust this, we can edit the detailed options.

Chart options

Select “Edit JSON…” from the context menu.

Under chartOptions are the available options. E.g. set scaleFontToMaxValue: "true" and the fonts will be scaled such that the largest item is equal to maxFontSize.

Available options are:

  • minFontSize: 5 minimum font size to draw on the canvas.
  • maxFontSize: 60 maximum font size to draw on the canvas. Font sizes are calculated as a percent of this value.
  • scaleToMaxFontSize: true whether to scale
  • limit : 60 maximum number of values to draw

  • fontFamily: font to use.

  • fontWeight: "normal" font weight to use, e.g. normal, bold or 600
  • color: color of the text, can be any CSS color

  • weightFactor: number to multiply size of each word

  • backgroundColor: color of the background.
  • drawOutOfBound: true allows words bigger than the size of the canvas to be drawn.

  • shape: "ellipse" The shape of the “cloud” to draw, "circle" (default), "cardioid", "diamond", "square", "triangle",and "star".

  • ellipticity: [ degree of “flatness” of the word cloud shape.
  • shuffle: true (default) randomizes points
  • rotateRatio: Probability for word to rotate. 1=always, 0=never.