Help me test WP-Cumulus unicode support

The one feature I’ve always wanted to add to WP-Cumulus is true unicode support. Flash player 9 made this impossible because it needed to have the font characters embedded into the movie, and unicode fonts are simply too big for that. But with Flash 10, Adobe has introduced new ways of handling text, and those now allow for non-embedded text to be animated quite smoothly. There’s also no longer any need to specify an exact font name, you can simply tell the player to get a sans-serif font. Flash player 10 is on over 93% of computers now, so it starts to make sense to use it to finally add this long-awaited feature to WP-Cumulus.

This movie requires Flash Player 10 or better.

I’ve created a test movie (above) that uses these new features, and I’m anxious to find out if it works for you, especially if you’re in Asia, Russia or anywhere else with a non-Latin character set.

What are you seeing?

  • Are you seeing all 45 tags (approximately), in many languages?
  • Are you seeing your (non-Latin) language?
  • Any other issues?
  • Do you want me to add your language to the test? Post the language name here.

Please leave a comment below and tell me if the movie works as it should. Thanks!


  1. Am using latest IMac – cannot see non latin characters

    Comment by steve — January 8, 2010 @ 12:00 pm

  2. correction – I see some chinese and korean characters now! but still lots of block squares

    Comment by steve — January 8, 2010 @ 12:01 pm

  3. The Persian words are OK, there is two, “فارسی” and “نستعلیق”
    Very good news for me 🙂 the only problem for this tool was this (unicode support )


    Comment by FzerorubigD — January 9, 2010 @ 8:41 pm

  4. Hi, I am from Latvia, and in Flash movie I see all characters so far except first 4 in word: “አማርኛ amarəñña” which are displayed as squares. Please add following Latvian characters to the test movie: “ĀČĒĢĪĶĻŅŖŠŪŽ”. Regards, And.

    Comment by And — January 17, 2010 @ 9:35 pm

  5. some additional info: windows 7, flash 10, Firefox 3.5.7

    Comment by And — January 17, 2010 @ 9:37 pm

  6. Dear Joy,
    Googd work. I could read indic scripts in the movie. I recognised both Malayalam and Hindi. But what about the conjuncts in these complex scripts? Shall I test it by taking your movie? Hope you will respond to my comment.

    Comment by Sunil Prabhakar — January 21, 2010 @ 10:02 am

  7. Dear Joy,
    Forgot to tell. No errors found in both Malayalam and Hindi. I am using Win Vista XP1 and IE 7.

    Comment by Sunil Prabhakar — January 21, 2010 @ 10:43 am

  8. Dear Roy,
    Sorry for misspelling your name.

    Comment by Sunil Prabhakar — January 21, 2010 @ 10:44 am

  9. Hi Sunil. No worries. It’s a joy to talk to you too 🙂 Thanks for reporting this. Looks like most people are seeing their native languages OK, which is what it’s all about.

    If you like you can download the movie to do further tests. I assume you know how to get the swf, right?

    Comment by Roy — January 21, 2010 @ 10:46 am

  10. Dear Roy,
    Thank you for your immediate response. I’ll download and test the movie for complex scripts under various platforms and browsers. I need to download two files -tagcloud.swf and tagcloud.xml and test it using flash player 9 or later – am I right? If you permit, I can use this in my news portal ( I am working in the online edition of one of the most circulated daily in this part of the world) so that more people will happen to see it.

    Comment by Sunil Prabhakar — January 21, 2010 @ 10:55 am

  11. Sunil, you will need Flash 10 for this. I wouldn’t recommend using this version in a production website, other than as a test (similar to this post). Thanks.

    Comment by Roy — January 21, 2010 @ 11:05 am

  12. hi, Roy, I come from china, There are some chinese characters is messy code. eg. a phrase including ‘平壤’ is just ‘平壤’ is normal,the others is messy code.

    Comment by patrick — January 29, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

  13. Hi! It would be perfect to have an UTF-8 version of your beautiful plugin! I use it on my webpage, but some of the Hungarian characters don’t appear at all…:-(

    From my mac, osx 10.6.2., this image is visible on your site:

    And please add Hungarian language, which is “Magyar” in hungarian.

    Thanks a lot, Gyorgy

    Comment by Gyorgy Hild — January 30, 2010 @ 5:37 pm

  14. Works like a charm, going to implement on our site for popular keyword cloud. Thank you from perth insulation.

    Comment by Perth Insulation — February 2, 2010 @ 3:05 pm

  15. What a crowd stopper. Really nice and I can see everything. Will be pushing for implementation on our internal site. Thanks.

    Comment by Karl — February 4, 2010 @ 5:42 pm

  16. HI Roy
    Last month I request a support for Tibetan Unicode, and you told that, you are working on a version that has true unicode support. Is it near to release?
    In the mean Time I have developed a module for TYPOlight CMS. which you can see working on site . I will release it there as pluck and play module.

    Comment by Tenzin — February 5, 2010 @ 2:56 pm

    • Tenzin, Progress on WP-Cumulus 2.0 has stalled a bit, but I’m going to pick it up asap. Thanks for the Typolight port.

      Comment by Roy — February 8, 2010 @ 1:11 pm

  17. Link: 中文版标签云(wp-cumulus) – 80年代
  18. OSX 10.5
    I do not see Arabic عربية , Syriac ܣܘܪܝܝܐ, or Hebrew עברית
    Beyond that, I’m not seeing anything distinctively German Deutsch, or Dutch Nederlands.

    Comment by Touma — February 10, 2010 @ 9:18 am

  19. Touma, not all languages are in there. I copied in words from Wikipedia and such. Dutch and German are part of the basic Latin character set that has been supported since day one. I added the words in your comment, but you may need to clear your browser’s cache to see them.

    Any blocks/otherwise obvious failures?

    Comment by Roy — February 10, 2010 @ 2:42 pm

  20. Hello

    how about Russian ?

    на руссоком он вроде не работает ..

    Best regards 🙂

    Comment by Orche — February 21, 2010 @ 4:48 pm

  21. wow sorry – i found how it may be done 🙂

    Comment by Orche — February 21, 2010 @ 4:55 pm

  22. i have seen “中國話”,assuming it is the “Traditional Chinese” specified in Adobe Flash CS4.(I am using IE7 and XP)

    The question is: Can this unicode version be used with Drupal cumulus module to animate Traditional Chinese in Drupal?

    There is one comment above saying that he can download the unicode version of tagcloud.swf, I can not find it. If it is possible , I would like to try tagcloud.swf with my Drupal to see if it can animate Traditional Chinese with Drupal cumulus.

    If download is not possible, is there an article on how to make one? (I have tried to use Flash CS4 and select character Family with “Arial Unicode MS”, and it does not work)


    Comment by Jesse — February 25, 2010 @ 7:22 am

    • Jesse, the unicode version is still unreleased, but it will work as a drop-in replacement for the current latin-only movie. The CMS is pretty much irrelevant as long as it provides the tags in unicode. The Tag class has been completely rewritten to use the new Textblock and TextLine classes, and then create a bitmap cached copy of the rendered tag to avoid re-antialising. I’m afraid the changes are too extensive for a quick tutorial. Feel free to download the test movie from this page though. If you look in the source code I’m sure you’ll be able to find it. There are FireFox plugins that help you with this too.

      Comment by Roy — February 28, 2010 @ 2:56 pm

  23. Dear Roy, Thanks. It worked for Chinese on Drupal 6.15.

    By downloading tagcloud.swf from (found this by using firefox), I have tried with Drupa 6.15 with cumulus module(one of drupal module which create tag clouds), and it works perfectly for all the chinese characters on my site.

    I have read several documents from various authors, all of them are using the “character embeding/include these characters” from Flash CS4 (or CS3) to solve Chinese character issue. It is not “universal”. It only worked with the chinese charaters that was included(not for all chinese characters). This is the real solution to chinese characters(think about only 4.7k), amazing.

    I still have problem: I am not able to hyperlink the tag to its proper page. From my understanding, I need to wait for the release of the Unicode version. then get the .fla file and work from there. Am i right?

    Thanks again.

    Comment by Jesse — February 28, 2010 @ 4:32 pm

  24. Hello! To you for that that you do thanks! It is very interesting theme. But at me to you a question. I cannot make anything that Russian was displayed! Help!

    Comment by Alexandr — March 7, 2010 @ 9:13 pm

  25. Greetings!

    In Russian works, only there is one but…
    The cloud turns a mouse, but links in it are not pressed…
    I wish successes in your developments.

    I am sorry for my English if something is not correct 🙂

    Comment by Alexander — March 10, 2010 @ 3:20 pm

  26. Hi,

    Can I put same tag cloud into flash banner?


    Comment by Kirill — March 14, 2010 @ 10:29 pm

    • Kirill, it’s very hard to get the movie into another flash movie, but if you work from the source files it might work. The unicode version is unreleased though, so you may need to modify the font settings and such to get non-latin text in there. There will be a lot of AS3 coding involved to get it to work I’m afraid.

      Comment by Roy — March 16, 2010 @ 4:41 pm

  27. Hi Ron, I think the 3D Tag Cloud is exactly what I want for my site. (
    I know nothing about Word press so I got a simple color one using an online generator (are you associated with this?)
    I still have trouble creating the tag links, reposition and resizing the clouds, and ultimately I need it to be in chinese.

    It would be wonderful for everyone if you could also make your stuff available from a similar generator.

    Comment by James — March 26, 2010 @ 8:29 am

  28. Hi James. No, I’m not associated with the project, other than that they’re using a modifies version of the Flash movie from my project. If you’re having trouble getting their output to work you should probably contact them.

    The unicode-supporting version of WP-Cumulus is unfortunately still not ready to be released. The Flash part is almost done, but we’re working on some major new features for the WordPress plugin. Once it’s done we’ll release the source codes so that other projects can benefit from the improvements.

    Comment by Roy — March 26, 2010 @ 3:04 pm

  29. Hi Roy
    I’ve figured out about tag links and font size, they are all there editable from the file cloud_data.xml.
    Now it looks like this :
    Now my only problem is chinese display, I’ve tried saving the same xml file in different encoding, utf-8, big 5.. etc. but still not working.
    I have sent a mail in this regard and I shall be glad to share it here for all those who knows only basic html copy and paste.

    Look forward to your unicode update.

    Comment by James — March 27, 2010 @ 10:34 pm

  30. Arabic, Farsi (Persian), and “Somali” (Somali Arabic? lol) looks great 🙂
    Native Unicode support without glyphs embedding and text direction conversion hacks.. Can’t wait for this 🙂

    Tested on Windows XP and Linux, both look good


    Comment by geekgirl — April 9, 2010 @ 9:14 am

  31. very good!
    i can see chinese now.
    could you send the flash source to my email.
    how do you make the chinese words show ?i need the source.
    it just take 5kb.

    Comment by free — April 17, 2010 @ 2:36 pm

    • I’m sorry Free, but the unicode version isn’t ready to be released yet.

      Comment by Roy — April 17, 2010 @ 2:51 pm

  32. Link: ③秋之流☆'s Blog » 更换新主题
  33. This is great, can I buy or download this program to use on my website?

    Comment by ArtemNT — May 6, 2010 @ 6:58 am

  34. Excellent work!! I have seen chinese like :“汉语“、”乐极生悲“ . My test environment:XP+Firefox
    I think it works well for chinese,and if it works well for other too,Please release new unicode version as soon as possible~~
    Thanks a lot!

    Comment by chiefleo — May 26, 2010 @ 1:39 pm

  35. “If you like you can download the movie to do further tests. I assume you know how to get the swf, right?”

    Hi Roy, how do I get a copy of this unicode file? Thanks.

    Comment by David — May 28, 2010 @ 6:05 pm

    • Hi David. There are many tricks to downloading swf files, many of which come in the form of Firefox add-ons. 🙂

      I’m not offering a download link because this is not the final movie. In fact, the way it gets tags may change in version 2.0 of my plugin, so this is a visual test only. That it’s a drop-in replacement for the current plugin is simply because nothing else was changed :).

      Comment by Roy — May 29, 2010 @ 8:00 pm

  36. Hey Roy,

    Great stuff – just tested the swf shown here on a Drupal site and it works very well 😉

    The problem, as described above, is that the tags are no links.

    This solves the current problem of “one missing tag” when using “Distribute tags evenly on cumulus” – but since the tags are not links it’s not currently usable ;/ (and, actually, using the current drupal module i could not get the distribute settings to actually do anything, but i remember i recent comment you’ve made stating the this is a known bug which was fixed in a previous WP upgrade so i’m assuming this fix is available in this version as well – but i cannot test it..)

    Another thing is – the Hebrew shown is not as pretty as it is with the embedded version. The text is a bit “flickering” when moving, and not as sharp. BUT the “one missing tags” problem is so critical for us right now that if we can get the links working we’ll ignore the text display problem for now 🙂

    Any idea on when the source will be available for download?
    I’d love to help and get this Drupal-ready whenever you guys are ready…

    Comment by Asaph — June 1, 2010 @ 8:03 pm

  37. Not sure when the source code will be available. The next version of the WordPress plugin will probably use a very different data interface, so there’s a lot of rewiring to do.

    I know text doesn’t look super in this version. I’m using cached bitmaps, and I think I’ll need to up the resolution a bit to get the fonts to look better.

    Tags should be links if they start with “http” and point to a location on the same (sub)domain. This has not changed since 1.23 (which introduced the “http” requirement as a XSS countermeasure).

    Comment by Roy — June 4, 2010 @ 12:37 pm

  38. Nice Work! Realy awesome! Thanks

    Comment by Deal Paule — June 9, 2010 @ 1:09 pm

  39. Is This Support UTF-8 Characters?
    If It Does Where Can I Download This Version Of Wp-Cumulous?

    Comment by Saif Hassan — June 15, 2010 @ 7:42 am

    • Saif, this is a test. I’m working on a release version that supports utf-8.

      Comment by Roy — June 17, 2010 @ 1:49 pm

  40. I see Georgian language here, it appears. But when I installed on my site does not shows it at all. Please help

    Comment by Georgian — June 17, 2010 @ 1:15 pm

  41. I downloaded SWF file from here and now it’s working and displaying Georgian characters. Thank you.

    Comment by Georgian — June 17, 2010 @ 1:32 pm

    • Georgian, are you sure you got the right file? It should be around 5 kb in size, not 30+ like the old one.

      Comment by Roy — June 17, 2010 @ 1:50 pm

  42. Roy, I downloaded this SWF file (from here) and works good now.

    Comment by Georgian — June 17, 2010 @ 7:02 pm

  43. Hi Roy,
    Thank you very much for your great effort to provide the WP-Cumulus. Especially the Unicode support version is very helpful to me as I am Japanese

    I have integrated it in my personal blog site ( ) which uses ASP.NET-based engine provided by BlogEngine.NET. So far it is working fine in Japanese environment. I will report you if I find any problem.

    BTW, did you change the setting of “distr” parameter? It seems to me that true/false is opposite between 1.23 and Unicode support versions.

    Comment by Shingo Ozaki — June 19, 2010 @ 8:14 am

    • Hi Shingo. Thanks for reporting. And yes, that setting was accidentally reversed in this test version.

      Comment by Roy — June 22, 2010 @ 1:10 pm

  44. Link: 支持中文的WordPress插件WP-Culumus | Martin.D's Blog!
  45. Hi Roy,

    I can’t see czech national chars, may you add these “classical” czech words? 🙂 : žluťoučký kůň úpěl ódy

    Many thanks,


    Comment by Petr — July 6, 2010 @ 1:42 pm

  46. I see it can display correctly in Vietnamese. Please tell me how to do that. Thanks.

    Comment by Minh Lâm — August 28, 2010 @ 4:39 am

  47. I try to translate this flash like you said in other post but no success for Persian (Arabic charsets) since the arabic charachter are not like en chars 😀
    And I see world in wrong way , but this one work , and I simply replace the original tagcloud.swf in my wp-plugin with this one in this page and its work. just there is no box around links . How i can fix this?

    Comment by FzerorubigD — August 29, 2010 @ 8:48 pm

    • I left the boxes out on purpose. You can pass a “hicolor” flashvar to get a rollover effect (text color change). This change will be permanent in version 2.0 of my plugin.

      Comment by Roy — September 1, 2010 @ 8:58 am

  48. Link: WP-Cumulus با نوشته های فارسی :) | یادداشتهای بیت نیمسوز
  49. I like this to implement in Thai language as well. Currently I’m using 1.2.3 with Drupal. I got some problems with letter spacing and link is non-clickable.

    This is a Thai word “ภาษาไทย” if you would like to add in the example above.

    Comment by Manop — September 17, 2010 @ 3:08 am

  50. I want to add WP-Cumulus in a website but not WordPress.
    So can someone give me some advices?

    Comment by Ryan — September 23, 2010 @ 8:58 am

    • Ryan, there’s a post about that here.

      Comment by Roy — September 23, 2010 @ 2:07 pm