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Posted April 29, 2012   90559 views

An Exact, Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Unique Tagxedo Gift

If you spent the time to master the art of Tagxedo, you can make tons of amazing artworks with very little effort. Sadly, not everyone knows that...

Anyway, since Mother's Day is coming up, and Zazzle (*) is running some promotion (e.g. free shipping over $50, half off T-shirts, etc), I'll take this opportunity to show you how to make a Tagxedo gift that is as gorgeous as it is uniquely yours.

The following instruction is exact, namely you follow my instruction step-by-step, and you'll get a T-shirt -- or mug, bag, apron, mousepad -- like the following, but with your own wordings (which I'll show you how). The steps require absolutely zero mastery of Tagxedo. First-timer? No problem!

Shall we start now?

Step #1: Download the Following Rose Image to Your Computer

Usually you just righ click the picture and "Save Image as ..."

Step #2: Open Tagxedo (http://www.tagxedo.com/app.html):

Note that Tagxedo requires Silverlight, and if you have it, you should see the application and the startup Tagxedo word cloud (currently, the blue planet, using only two words, "Mother Earth"). Otherwise, please install Silverlight, which works on desktop Windows and Macs.

Step #3: Import the Image of Rose as Shape

Click the arrow next to Shape, which brings up the shape menu. Click "Add Image", while brings up a file dialog; navigate to the image you just downloaded and open it. Move the threshold slider to 0%, and then hit Accept. You have just added a new shape! Tagxedo will now compute the word cloud, and a few seconds later, you should see something like this:

In other words, the shape has been changed to that of the rose, but the color and the words are still the same.

Step #4: Choose to Use Source Color

Click the "Word | Layout Options" button, and then change "Use Source Color" to "Yes", and hit Accept:

"That's easy", you may say. Yes it is!

Step #5: Put in Your Own Words

Now, you want to put in your own words, don't you? Click "Load", and click the area next to "Enter Text", and start typing your words.

What words? Well, that's up to you. Your mom's name? The words "Happy Mother's Day"? Some words that best describe your mom? It's all up to you.

What? You still need some examples? Alright, here's mine:

Happy Mother's Day! Linda wonderful caring lovable loving nice kind witty smart quick patient resourceful love to laugh loyal love to smile dedicated

How many words? As few as just one. As many as, say, 200. If there are not enough words, Tagxedo will duplicate some of them. If you put in more words than that (say, the Bible in its entirety, such as http://www.tagxedo.com/shop#Bible), Tagxedo will pick up to a few hundreds of the top words.

When you are done, hit "Submit". A few seconds later, you'll get this:

That's it! Not too bad, right?

Step #6: Make a Gift at Zazzle

Now let's turn this into a gift. Click the "Gift" button in the lower-left corner of the app. You'll see a preview of the artwork as a T-shirt, mug, mousepad, and bag:

Click the left-hand-side one ("transparent"). I know the preview color may be a bit off but don't worry, as you'll get to see the real thing in a minute. After you click, a popup window will open. Make sure the popup can be successfully opened. Some browsers may block such popup, but they'll warn you about that. Please make sure your browser allows this particular popup (usually by clicking something near the address bar to "allow" this popup).

If the popup window is successfully opened, you'll need to wait a few seconds for Tagxedo to transfer the data over to Zazzle. When done, you'll be presented with a page like this:

Wow, an entire range of merchandises made with the Tagxedo artwork you just made, with your own words! T-shirts, mugs, and aprons are popular. Here's what the T-shirt page looks like:

So, just complete the order and your gift is on the way! I hope you guys like it!

-- Hardy Leung (creator of Tagxedo)

(*) Keep in mind that I write this out of goodwill rather than greed. The incremental revenue I get out of Zazzle cannot justify the amount of time I spent on writing this post...