A wordcloud (or tag cloud) is a visual representation of text data. Tags are usually single words, and the importance of each tag is shown with font size or color. In R, two packages allow to create wordclouds: Wordcloud and Wordcloud2.


The Wordcloud2 package by Chiffon Lang is probably the best way to build wordclouds with R. Note that it is a html widget. Thus the default output format is HTML. If you need a PNG or PDF, read this post.


Wordclouds are useful for quickly perceiving the most prominent terms. they are widely used in media and well understood by the public. However, they are criticized for 2 main reasons:

To put it in a nutshell, wordclouds must be avoided. You can read more about that in data-to-viz. Why not considering a lollipop plot or a barplot instead?


The wordcloud package is another way to build wordclouds in R. It does not allow as much customization as wordcloud2, but is easy to use and output the chart more easily to PNG or PDF.

Related chart types

Spider / Radar
Circular Barplot