Textal is a free smartphone app, currently available on iOS, that allows you to analyze websites, tweet streams, and documents, as you explore the relationships between words in the text via an intuitive word cloud interface. You can generate graphs and statics, as well as share the data and visualizations in any way you like. Textal is a fun and useful tool for research and play.

Why Textal?

Text analysis is a powerful technique that has been around since the very first computers were built, yet it is not a very well-known method today. We aim to promote text analysis as a way to unearth the themes and hidden uses of language within text. Our Links page has pointers that allow you to learn more about the technique.

We also want to explore the opportunities available in mobile computing. To determine the potential audience for this type of service and to understand more about the kind of texts people want to analyse, we are conducting a reception study into Textal’s uptake, which we expect to be of great interest to the wider Digital Humanities audience. Our use of your data for this research is governed by our privacy policy.

When will it be available for Android?

That depends on the success of the iOS version. We've built this app over a couple of years, with a very small team. We're keeping an open mind as to where it goes next, but hope to keep building on our successes.


The Textal team are Melissa Terras (@melissaterras), Steven Gray (@frogo), and Rudolf Ammann (@rkammann). Melissa is the Director of UCL Centre for Digital Humanities (UCLDH) and Reader in Electronic Communication in the Department of Information Studies at UCL. Steven is a Research Associate at the Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) and a Research Associate at UCL Centre for Digital Humanities. Melissa and Steven have previously worked together on the QRator project team. Rudolf is the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities’ Designer at Large.


Textal received funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under the Additional Sponsorship award to UCL of December 2011 (Grant Reference EP/J501396/1), held in the Office of the UCL Vice-Provost (Research).

The project is also jointly funcded by the National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) under the Talisman node.

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