...after going through this again, you might be able to skip steps 7 & 8 if you create a label in gmail that is all chats from a single person. then you can use the thunderbird export tool to put the entire folder into one text file: "Tools"-> "ImportExportTools" -> "Export all messages in the folder" -> "Plain Text Format (one file)". I haven't tested this, but it might work.
Step 1: Enable IMAP in GMail
Step 2: Set Chats to Be Shown in IMAP
Step 3: Install Thunderbird
Step 4: Subscribe to "chats" in Thunderbird
Step 5: Install Export Tools Into Thunderbird
Step 6: Export All Chats to a Directory
Step 7: Prepare Text Files From a Single Person Into a Single Directory.
Run batch renaming file to remove spaces from file names and shorten them. Save the "rename.bat" file in that same directory.. [i got it here]. In the command prompt go to C:\Chats and type in: rename.bat -files " " "_" C:\Chats in order to get rid of the spaces. You may also want to replace the name of the person in the file with initials to make it smaller. rename.bat -files " Bob Dole " "bd" C:\Chats
Step 8: Combine All Chats Into a Single Text File.
Navigate to the correct folder using "cd .." and cd "Chats", etc...
Use DOS command: copy /a *.txt allchats.txt
This combines all of the text files into a single file called "allchats.txt"
Step 9: Edit Chat Text File to Get Rid of Some Common Words/expressions
- use find/Replace to remove strings like " me ", " AM ", " AM:", " PM ", " PM:", " minutes ", etc...notice the spaces and colons in there. I ended up going back to this step several times, otherwise some words are really big. You can also remove words from the wordle site.
- optional: select all and right click to change all to upper or lower case.