Generating “placeholder” text automatically in Word

While this isn’t a common need in law offices, it’s such a cool trick, I just had to share.

Have you ever seen a sentence that started with “Lorem ipsum …”?  That’s placeholder text that web and print designers use to show how text will be formatted in a document.  And it’s easy to insert automatically in Word.

If you ever need a block of nonsense words to test formatting, etc., you can insert this classic placeholder text in Word 2007 by typing “=lorem(#)” (without the quotes, of course) where #=the number of paragraphs of text you need.

To do insert random text in Word 2003 and earlier, use =rand(p,l), where p=number of paragraphs and l=number of lines (repetitions).  This version will insert the classic sentence “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.”  For example, if you insert =rand(5,3), Word inserts 5 paragraphs of 3 sentences each.

Cool, huh?  (Okay, I get a little too excited about undocumented goodies.)

Hat tips to Webtlk.com, OfZenandComputing, and Microsoft for this trick!

About the Author

I spend an inordinate amount of my time playing with computers and attempting to explain technology to lawyers and law office staff. It's not always easy, but someone's got to do it.