How to add more characters to WP-Cumulus

One of the major shortcomings of Flash (imho) is the way it handles text. If you want to animate text, change its transparency or do any of the other things that Flash is so good at, you need to embed font characters into your movie. This is usually not so bad, if you know the target language your movie will be used to display.

My WP-Cumulus WordPress plugin however can be used to display tags in any language. Embedding all available characters would render the plugin unusable, as even the relatively simple Latin character set adds almost 30 kilobytes to the movie’s file size. This is why in order to use the plugin for other languages, you’ll need to add the appropriate characters yourself (or find someone who already has). Here’s how. It’s really quite easy.

In order to be able to recompile the movie you’ll need a working version of Flash 9 (CS2/3) or better. A trial version should do nicely. Once you’ve installed the application, follow these steps.

1. Download the source files.
The regular download does not include the Flash movie’s source files. You’ll need the development version, available here.

2. Open up tagcloud.fla.
Once you’ve extracted the downloaded zip file, you should have a folder called ‘wp-cumulus’, which contains a folder called ‘flash sources’. In that folder there’s a file called ‘tagcloud.fla’. Open that file in Flash.

3. Find the textfield.
This shouldn’t be too difficult. There’s nothing in the movie but a single text field, placed above, and to the right of the stage. Make sure you’re using the pasteboard setting (‘View’->’Pasteboard’). Select the text field, the ‘properties’ panel (usually docked at the bottom of the screen) should look somewhat like this.

4. Embed the characters.
Click the ’embed’ button. This opens a dialog that lets you select which languages you’ll need. Use CTRL-clicking to select them. Then press OK.

5. Compile the movie.
Press CTRL-Enter to run the movie. This will overwrite the ‘tagcloud.swf’ file in you ‘flash sources’ folder. This file is now your own, customized tag cloud for use with WP-Cumulus. Simply use it overwrite the ‘tagcloud.swf’ currently in your blog’s wp-content/plugins/wp-cumulus folder.

Optional: Change the font.
If you’d like to use a different font with WP-Cumulus, there’s a few extra steps you’ll need to take.

  1. Change the text field’s font setting on the properties panel.
  2. Open the ‘’ file located in ‘com/roytanck/wpcumulus’.
  3. Find the line that says ‘format.font = “Arial”;’.
  4. Change ‘Arial’ to the name of your font.
  5. Save the files and compile the movie.

There’s a distinct possibility that this will not work for languages like Chinese, Korean and Japanese. Even the simplest form of Chinese consists of over 5600 characters. Ten times the amount of Latin, and most of them are made up of complex shapes that require lots of curves. This will probably cause the movie’s size to become over 300 kilobytes, which I feel makes it unusable. If anyone attempts this, please let me know the results.

Known translations

UPDATE: More info on Chinese and unicode support is here.


  1. ala Ala Güzel eklenti valla bravo

    Comment by Alex — November 29, 2008 @ 10:49 pm

  2. şarkılar türkler vs

    Comment by kubbi — December 3, 2008 @ 9:52 pm

  3. Link: WP Cumulus - flash birku spraudnis tavam blogam : Krist2ps blogo
  4. Link: - Way to Valinor » Blog Archive » WP-Cumulus WordPress
  5. Link: RSSA频道 » Blog Archive » [插件推介] 3D Flash 标签云插件 WP-Cumulus
  6. Great work !!!!

    Comment by Francesco — January 7, 2009 @ 5:28 pm

  7. Hi.
    Anybody knows a version of this Flash program that works with a regular HTML web site (non-WordPress)?


    Comment by anti-manea — January 10, 2009 @ 8:42 pm

  8. thanks Man!
    I have solution for Persian font because WP-Cumulus don’t support RTL font(or i don’t know how handle it 😀 )!!!they can use a Persian Editor Named : Maryam or “فارسی ساز مریم” or other Persian Editor!
    also Arabs people can follow this way…
    if u search on internet u can find free version of this editor in the internet…

    Comment by Amir — January 15, 2009 @ 2:36 pm

  9. Link: Plugin itu namanya WP-Cumulus : adjie’s view
  10. ooh,, i see now…
    really good article,,,
    it’ must be used to me..

    Comment by firman — January 22, 2009 @ 4:32 am

  11. can i used this in my blog??
    because i used blogger instead of wordpress…

    Comment by firman — January 22, 2009 @ 4:33 am

    • Hi Firman. Amanda Fazani did all the hard work for you…

      Comment by Roy — January 22, 2009 @ 9:48 am

  12. Link: How to repurpose my tag cloud Flash movie | Roy Tanck's weblog
  13. Thanks for plugin. As Russian version of WP-Cumulus haven’t been updated I made it by myself. So if somebody needs cyrillic version – welcome – !

    Comment by localhost — February 6, 2009 @ 1:24 pm

  14. Oo! So good =) Thanks for Russian version!!!

    Comment by Alexey — February 17, 2009 @ 2:44 pm

  15. Prompt please why Russian font does not work? =(

    Comment by Alexey — February 17, 2009 @ 7:01 pm

  16. The best plugin!!!!
    From russia with love. 🙂

    Comment by 969 — March 2, 2009 @ 5:29 am

  17. I tried to add arabic language but seems that Flash9 doesnt soppurt it though in Flash it self i can easily write in Arabic and Farsi but for some reason it dont properly work on the page, the words shapes seperately…

    Comment by amir — March 7, 2009 @ 7:54 pm

  18. Hiya Roy

    1st up, great plugin.

    I’m using it on my site. I have the Video WordPress theme running, which has no sidebar on the blog page, so I have added sidebar functionality into the body of the posts. I can then run your widget right in the post and it looks cool. However for some reason it only works on the first post and on all subsequent posts I get the “you need Flash 9 or later” message. Is this because there cannot be multiple instances of the FLV on a page?



    Comment by Kristjan — March 9, 2009 @ 2:00 pm

    • @Kristjan: Have you tried using the [WP-CUMULUS] shorttag instead of using widgets? That’ll let you place WP-Cumulus in posts. But that being said, the plugin wasn’t designed to have more than two (the shorttag and the widget version) on a single page. It can consume a lot of processing power, and I’d recommend against using it ten times on one page.

      Comment by Roy — March 9, 2009 @ 4:57 pm

  19. Link: The top 5 WP-Cumulus hacks | Roy Tanck's weblog
  20. hi roy, i want ask how can i place wp-cumulus on center.
    can you tell me how i can center this plugin, because i didn’t found position option.
    please send via email how i can positioning it on center.
    thank’s for your regards

    Comment by Prasetiyanto — March 19, 2009 @ 4:00 pm

  21. Is there anyway i can use a transparent object rather than texts? and how can I make it so that the object clicked is zoomed in instead of opening to another window? thanks

    Comment by Globber — March 20, 2009 @ 2:50 pm

    • @Globber: You’de have to seriously hack the Flash movie to achieve both the modifications you want. Especially breaking a object out of the 3D coord system and having it zoom in might be tricky. All in all it sounds like a project in itself. Let me know how you fare.

      Comment by Roy — March 20, 2009 @ 3:09 pm

  22. have a look at this flash component and let me know if this is achievable

    I have been asked to create something like this, any help you can give me?

    Comment by Globber — March 20, 2009 @ 3:15 pm

    • That is a very nifty movie. I think they got the mouse navigation the wrong way around, but the zooming effect is very nice. I’ve been thinking about something similar, but I don’t have it lying about right now.

      Comment by Roy — March 20, 2009 @ 4:32 pm

  23. Link: Wordpress插件推荐-WP Cumulus | 盆盆罐罐
  24. Hi Roy
    Nice Component.
    I downloaded source. I want use this in my flex application. Can i Use it?

    I have doubts… If i want to use this application in my flex app. what are the steps i need to follow.
    Please suggest me.

    Thanks & Regards,

    Comment by Venu — April 14, 2009 @ 12:44 pm

  25. @Venu: I know nothing about Flex, so I’m sorry but I can’t help you.

    Comment by Roy — April 14, 2009 @ 1:05 pm

  26. Hi Roy,
    Thanks for your reply.
    Action Script is similar for flash and flex.
    But in flex we have UI components(like Scene,Sprite,MovieClip you have in flash)

    I tried to modify the source according to flex requirement.

    but Not successful.

    Shall i send my question through your mail?

    Thanks and Regards,

    Comment by Venu — April 14, 2009 @ 1:19 pm

  27. @Venu: I’ve also tried to make a Flex component out of the Flash movie once using a tutorial I found online, and was unsuccessful. I wasn’t really able to troubleshoot anything, because I could only ‘see’ the Flash side of it. Feel free to email me if you think we can figure it out together.

    Comment by Roy — April 14, 2009 @ 6:18 pm

  28. Thanks! A lot!
    :] WMK

    Comment by WMK — April 17, 2009 @ 10:41 pm

  29. Thank for you quick reply. I downloading source FLA file 🙂
    Thank for you advice

    Comment by weber — April 25, 2009 @ 7:49 am

  30. Nice cumulus tag here. I use it on Drupal (i.e. cumulus-5.x-1.1.tar.gz)

    I want to change the font style, so I followed your instructions above. Works fine.
    However, now the tags looks very colorful. I don’t want this.

    The default swf from Drupal only have 1 single color which configurable inside the block setting.

    What should I do to have same color to all tags?

    Thanks in advance

    Comment by Eric — May 1, 2009 @ 6:02 pm

    • Hi Eric. I’m not sure how the color settings are implememnted in the Drupal version. It’s probably best to ask the port author.

      Comment by Roy — May 3, 2009 @ 3:16 pm

  31. Hi, my tagcloud is failing to add new tags any ideas why? TIA

    Comment by toast — May 17, 2009 @ 8:14 pm

    • @toast: Once you’ve got 45 tags, WordPress will only show the most used ones. This is done to keep the cloud from growing into a monster. It works well as a default for WP-Cumulus as well, but can be changed using the wp_tag_cloud parameters option.

      Comment by Roy — May 19, 2009 @ 7:59 am

  32. Thank you for the response, That answers my question. 🙂

    Comment by toast — May 19, 2009 @ 8:17 am

  33. Link: 标签云插件WP-Cumulus显示中文Tags的解决方案 | CV 博客
  34. Hi Roy
    Tnx for your Post
    Plz Help me How can i use your flash movie in Persian (فارسی) Mode
    plz helllllpppppppppppp

    Comment by Hossein — June 2, 2009 @ 10:03 pm

  35. Hi Hossein. If the tutorial on this page did not help you I’m afraid there’s little I can do. If your language needs a different font to be used, please also take the optional 6th step.

    Comment by Roy — June 3, 2009 @ 9:53 am

  36. i created swf with tagcloud it works i want to load that from another i want to change xml path relatively second swf(it is in upperlevel folder) i change
    var XMLPath = “path relativly second swf”; but it doesn’t work please can u tell what are the paths should be change…?

    Comment by Ntwobike — June 20, 2009 @ 6:39 am

  37. var swfStage:Stage = this.stage;
    this.stage is null when load tagCloud from second swf what is the solution for this..?

    Comment by Ntwobike — June 20, 2009 @ 7:10 am


    Comment by Ntwobike — June 20, 2009 @ 9:34 am

    • @Ntwobike: The movie really isn’t designed to be loaded into another one. Because it interacts with the stage directly for things like scaling you need to remove a lot of code (and thus functionality) or rewrite substantial parts of code to get this working. Another issue are the flashvars, which are all passed to the outer movie. I can’t offer you solutions because I’ve never done this myself. At least not with recent versions.

      Comment by Roy — June 21, 2009 @ 9:28 am

  39. Hello there is wp-cumulus with support for Czech language:

    Comment by Harvie — June 26, 2009 @ 5:42 pm

  40. Link: 标签云插件WP-Cumulus显示中文Tags的解决方案 » Z-Rui 生活。驿动 张瑞的博客 记录点滴生活
  41. Hi Roy,

    I follow these steps.

    1. Download the source files.
    The regular download does not include the Flash movie’s source files.
    You’ll need the development version, available here.

    2. Open up tagcloud.fla.
    Once you’ve extracted the downloaded zip file, you should have a folder called ‘wp-cumulus’, which contains a folder called ‘flash sources’. In that folder there’s a file called ‘tagcloud.fla’. Open that file in Flash.

    I noticed that the file ‘ tagcloud.fla ‘ does not exist in the zip. I does not understand why ?
    Could you give me a valid link to download this file ‘ tagcloud.fla ‘ ?
    A file ‘ tagcloud.fla ‘ works fine, many thanks .


    Comment by theo — July 27, 2009 @ 5:21 pm

    • Hi Theo. Did you get the developer version

      Comment by Roy — July 30, 2009 @ 1:04 pm

  42. hi roy, I tried over and over again to put this wp-cumulus to my blog but nothing happens . I already read the instruction by amanda still not working. I’m using What will I do? need help…tnx alot..btw thank you for your work. It is really great.

    Comment by ian — August 7, 2009 @ 5:28 pm

  43. Link: WP-Cumulus 3D標籤雲中文版 | 敗家誌°
  44. Hi Roy,
    Good work, Wp-Cumulus is a good plugin. I have made a kabyle version for my website ( adding somes specific caracteres and it works just fine. I don’t use it as a cloud of tags but as a cloud of verbs that come in a random way and the link are to tables of conjugation. Thank you.

    Comment by agrakal — August 17, 2009 @ 2:24 pm

  45. Link: Avramov bRlog » WP-Cumulus i naša slova
  46. Hi,

    Here you can find WP-Cumulus SWF files for Serbian language, both Latin and Cyrillic scripts:

    Comment by Avram — August 22, 2009 @ 2:54 pm

  47. Hi Roy,

    Thank you for your answer to my message.

    I returned today (Saturday, September 5th – 3:24) because I did not think that you would answer my message.

    I don’t get the developer version and I don’t this developer version does exist ?

    What is the link to download this version that I could find it ?

    I am developing my website myself so I never use WordPress template.
    I want to implement your plugin but in the case I want to remove (Get this widget at by the right-click.

    Do I have to pay to you for this plugin ?
    If yes How much it will cost to me to pay it ?

    Many thanks, Théo.

    Comment by theo — September 5, 2009 @ 2:27 am

  48. Theo, the development version is here: .

    WP-Cumulus is open source software, so it’s completely free to use on your website. If you remove the right-click link I’d appreciate some other credit link.

    Comment by Roy — September 5, 2009 @ 9:49 am

  49. Hi Roy,

    Thank you for your answer.

    I do not know how much money to give you via Paypal who will please for your good work on the plugin?
    Can I pay to you with Paypal?

    I want to know everything today to have no unpleasant surprise with the internet laws. Feel reassured I know that I want to remove (Get this widget at by the right-click then I shall pay you without problem via Paypal.

    U make a good JOB about (Flickr widget ), [[—- Magnificent —-]]

    Comment by theo — September 7, 2009 @ 3:39 am

  50. Theo, removing the credit link isn’t a problem. The code generated by the form is suggestion for you to work with.

    Donations are completely optional. There’s a button on the sidebar. Tnx.

    Comment by Roy — September 7, 2009 @ 8:07 pm