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Tips & Tricks

Things you can't do with the visual cloud editor

A few "undocumented features"

February 27th, 2006, 7:00

If you have already placed a ZoomCloud in your website, and when you did it, you selected either to draw a dot between tags or to write the weight of the tags, you may have noticed that at the end of the JavaScript URL one or two misterious letters appear.

For example, a simple call without drawing dots nor writting the weight of the tags, looks something like this:

<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>

However, if we selected to draw a dot between tags and their weight, the call URL becomes

<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>

There, the letter d tells ZoomClouds that it must draw the dots between tags, and the letter s instructs ZoomClouds to write the weight of each tag. If you remove the letter s, then the weight won't show up. We call these letters "extra commands". They tell ZoomClouds to do certain things that usually cannot be done just by manipulating the CSS code.

The million dollar question now is - are there other extra commands? Sure there are. Not many so far, but just enough to start documenting them, so you can take advantage of them if you like.

Each command is indeed one single letter (all lowercase so far). Not very intuitive but it helps keeping the URLs short and to the point.

The other active extra commands so far are:

n    If a tag takes up more than one word, the n command tells ZoomClouds not to break the tag into two lines, and keep it always in one line. You could think of this as a nowrap command.
l    This command forces each tag to appear on a single line. This is the same as saying that instead of a tag cloud, you'll get a list of tags, one tag per line.
w    Instead of showing the tags in alphabetical order, sort them by weight, starting with the most relevant tags (the ones using the largest font). I personally like this option.
o    Normally, when you click on a tag, you get a results page on the same window. When you use the o command, you force the browser to show the results page on a new browser window.
c    Ignore the assigned tag colors and instead assign a random color to each and every tag - out of a total of 12 colors. The random colors look better over a white background, so we suggest not to use this option if you're using a background color other than white.

The order of the commands is irrelevant. If you want to use the wods commands, it doesn't matter whether you add dows, owsd or wosd. It is important however to use only lowercase letters.

And that's it for now. If you have any other suggestions, comments are open!

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