Let's make a word cloud


Updated at November 8th, 2022

See Word clouds article for more information. 


Word clouds are a fun way to show the qualitative gist of a quant distribution. Here, we'll show you how to create a word cloud from verbatim text responses.

Begin by selecting a text open-end, in this example we'll use D2_raw, which ask respondents their thoughts on cardiac monitoring devices.

Let's make the element a little bit wider, we still cannot read all the answers, but enough so that we can scan for some trends. Using the search bar we can discern a few themes like "easy", "cost", and "portable". Coding this many answers can take a while.

Let's just try splitting into words. Select the magenta circle, and choose "More properties...", under split enter "word". Press ok. D2_raw is now split into individual words.

Select "Chart Type..." from the context menu, select "Word Cloud". Protobi by default excludes a number of common words, we can exclude others like "I" and "am" under chartOptions. Select "Edit JSON" from the context menu, and add additional words to exclude.

And while we're at it, let's make the word cloud square. Sometimes you may wish to combine synonyms. For instance, we may want to combine "easy", "easier", and "easiest". Select "Recode..." from the context menu. We can now begin searching for similar responses for things like "easy", "cost" and "portable". Hit apply, D2_raw is now a word cloud.

See other tutorials on Protobi chart types. 

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