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7 Best Collaborative Word Cloud Tools (Mostly Free!)

7 Best Collaborative Word Cloud Tools (Mostly Free!)

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Lawrence Haywood 28 Jun 2022 7 min read

You’ll see a common tool in classrooms, meeting rooms and beyond these days: the humble, beautiful, collaborative word cloud.

Why? Because it’s an attention winner. It perks up any audience by providing the chance to submit their own opinions and contribute to a discussion based on your questions.

Any of these 7 best live word cloud tools can earn you total engagement, wherever you need it. Let’s dive in!

Word Cloud vs Collaborative Word Cloud

Let’s clear something up before we begin. What’s the difference between a word cloud and a collaborative word cloud?

  • Word Cloud – A tool with which the user inputs a group of words and those words are displayed in a visual ‘cloud’. Usually, the more frequent the inputted words are, the larger and more centrally they appear in the cloud.
  • Collaborative Word Cloud – Essentially the same tool, but the word inputs are made by a group of people, rather than a single person. Usually, someone will present the word cloud with a question and an audience will input their answers by the joining word cloud on their phones.

In general, a collaborative word cloud not only displays the frequency of words, but is also great for making a presentation or lesson super interesting and transparent.

Check out these collaborative word cloud examples

Ice Breakers

Get the conversation flowing with an ice breaker. A question like ‘where are you from?’ is always engaging for a crowd and is a great way to loosen people up before the presentation begins.

A collaborative word cloud showing names of UK cities

Opinions

Display the views in the room by asking a question and seeing which answers loom largest. Something like who’s going to win the World Cup?’ could really get people talking!

A collaborative word cloud showing country names

Testing

Reveal some telling insights with a quick test. Ask a question, like ‘what’s the most obscure French word ending in “ette”?’ and see which answers are the most (and least) popular.

A collaborative word cloud showing french words ending in 'ette'.

You’ve probably figured this out yourself, but these examples are simply impossible on a one-way static word cloud. On a collaborative word cloud, however, they can delight any audience and pool focus where it should be – on you and your message.

💡 You can download a free template for each of these use cases here!

7 Best Collaborative Word Cloud Tools

Given the engagement that a collaborative word cloud can drive, it’s no wonder the amount of word cloud tools has exploded in recent years. Interaction is becoming key in all walks of life, and collaborative word clouds are a massive leg-up.

Here are 7 of the best…

1. AhaSlides

✔ Free

AhaSlides is free software that gives users the tools to make interactive presentations using an arsenal of slide types. Multiple choice, rating scale, brainstorm, Q&A and quiz slides to name just a few.

One of its most popular slide types is the word cloud, and it’s not difficult to see why. It’s possibly the most simple slide type amongst the many on offer; it requires, at minimum, a single question for the audience to answer.

Yet, if you want to spice up your word cloud with background images, preset themes and various colours, AhaSlides happily obliges. In terms of customisation, it’s one of the best-looking and most flexible collaborative word cloud tools out there.

👏 Outstanding feature: You can even embed audio into your word cloud. The audio plays from the presenter’s laptop and each audience member’s phone, though this requires a paid plan from $1.95 a month.

A GIF of responses being uploaded to a word cloud question on AhaSlides.
Words being submitted by a live audience on AhaSlides.

Settings Options

  • Add image prompt
  • Multiple entries per participant
  • Hide words until submissions have finished
  • Allow audience to submit more than once
  • Profanity filter
  • Time limit
  • Manually delete entries
  • Allow audience to send reaction emojis
  • Allow audience to submit without a presenter

Appearance Options

  • 6 preset themes to choose from
  • Choose base colour
  • Add background image or GIF
  • Choose background opacity

Make the Best Word Cloud

Beautiful, attention-grabbing word clouds, for free! Make one in minutes with AhaSlides.

A word cloud showing responses to the question 'how do I make lessons and meetings more fun?'

2. Beekast

✔ Free

If big bold words and colour are your thing, then Beekast is a great option for a collaborative word cloud. Its standard white background and huge fonts bring the words into focus, and all are neatly arranged and easy to see.

The drawback here is that Beekast is not the easiest to use. Once you’re thrust into the interface, you’ll have to navigate the overwhelming amount of options yourself, and it can take a while to set up the word cloud you want.

Another downside is that you can only have 3 live participants (or ‘sessions’) on the free plan. That’s a pretty strict limit.

👏 Outstanding feature: You can moderate the submitted words from your audience. Change the text slightly or simply refuse the whole submission.

A screenshot of Beekast's word cloud

Settings Options

  • Multiple entries per participant
  • Hide words until submissions have finished
  • Allow audience to submit more than once
  • Manual moderation
  • Time limit

Appearance Options

Beekast doesn’t come with appearance customisation options

3. ClassPoint

✔ Free

ClassPoint is one of the most unique and best word cloud generators in the list because of one thing. It’s not a standalone bit of software, but a plug-in that works directly with PowerPoint.

The upshot of this is that it’s a seamless transition from your presentation directly to your word cloud. You simply pose a question on a slide, open a word cloud on that slide, then invite everyone to join and submit words using their phones.

The downshot of this is that it’s a fairly simple tool without much customisation in terms of settings or appearance. But in terms of ease of use, it’s pretty unmatched in this list.

👏 Outstanding feature: You can even add background music to fill in the silence while people are submitting their answers!

A collection of words showing Malaysian food on ClassPoint

Settings Options

  • Multiple entries per participant
  • Hide words until submissions have finished
  • Time limit
  • Background music

Appearance Options

ClassPoint doesn’t come with appearance customisation options. You can change the appearance of the PowerPoint slides, but your word cloud will appear as a blank pop-up.

Need a Word Cloud Fast?

Check this video to see how to go from free signup to audience responses in under 5 minutes!

4. Slides With Friends

✔ Free

Slides With Friends is a startup with a penchant for gamifying remote meetings. It’s got a friendly interface and doesn’t take long to figure out what you’re doing.

Likewise, you can set up your word cloud in seconds by just writing the prompt question directly on the slide. Once you present that slide, you can click it again to reveal the responses from your audience.

The downside is that the word cloud itself lacks a bit of colour and space. It’s all black lettering and super close together, meaning it’s not easy to tell submissions apart when there are lots of them.

👏 Outstanding feature: The question slide will show avatars of all participants. When the participant submits their word, their avatar goes from faded to bold, meaning you know exactly who’s submitted and who hasn’t!

A GIF of a collaborative word cloud showing responses to the question 'what languages are you currently learning?'

Settings Options

  • Add image prompt
  • Hide words until submissions have finished
  • Time limit

Appearance Options

  • Add background image
  • Choose background opacity
  • Dozens of preset themes
  • Choose colour scheme

5. Vevox

✔ Free

Much like Beekast, Vevox operates more in the realm of ‘activities’ than ‘slides’. It’s not a presentation tool like AhaSlides, but more like a series of separate activities that need to be manually turned off and on. It also offers one of the best free word cloud generators in the market.

If you’re after a word cloud with a serious air to it, then Vevox might be the one for you. The blocky structure and muted colour scheme are a good fit for cold, hard business, and while you can change the theme to get something more colourful, the palette of the words remain similar, meaning they can be a little tough to tell apart from each other.

A tag cloud on Vevox showing responses to the question 'what's your favourite breakfast?'

Settings Options

  • Multiple entries per participant
  • Add image prompt (paid plan only)
  • Allow audience to submit without a presenter
  • Show or hide results

Appearance Options

  • 23 preset themes to choose from

6. LiveCloud.online

✔ Free

Sometimes, all you want in life is a no-frills collaborative word cloud. Nothing fancy, nothing customisable – just a big white space where your participants can submit their words from their phones.

LiveCloud.online ticks all of those boxes. It requires no signup to use – just head to the site, send the link to your participants and you’re off.

Naturally, being as no-frills as it is, the design isn’t really up to much. It’s sometimes hard to tell the words apart because all of them are the same colour, and most of them are the same size.

👏 Outstanding feature: You can save and open previously used word clouds, though that involves signing up for free.

A live word cloud on livecloud.online

Settings Options

  • Export completed cloud to a collaborative whiteboard

Appearance Options

LiveCloud.online doesn’t come with appearance customisation options.

7. Kahoot

✘ Not Free

One of the top classroom tools for quizzes added a word cloud feature in 2019, letting students contribute to a live word cloud along with their fellow classmates.

Like everything Kahoot-ish, their word cloud takes on vibrant colours and easily readable text. Different coloured backgrounds for words keep them separate and clear, and each response is slowly revealed, building from the least to the most popular one.

However, like most other things Kahoot-ish, the word cloud is hidden behind a paywall. Also, there are very limited options for any kind of customisation.

👏 Outstanding feature: You can preview your word cloud to get an idea of how it will look when you try for real.

Responses to a question on Kahoot.

Settings Options

  • Add image prompt
  • Time limit
  • Allow audience to submit without a presenter
  • Manually delete entries

Appearance Options

  • 15 preset themes to choose from (3 are free)

💡 Need an alternative to Kahoot? We’ve listed 7 of the best!

Free Word Cloud Templates


Grab the attention in the room. These word cloud templates on AhaSlides are guaranteed engagement!

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Ice Breakers
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For Testing
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For Opinions

Use this reference code when you checkout: AHAXMAS21