Legal Office Guru header image

Legal Office Guru

≡ Menu

Generating “placeholder” text automatically in Word

Unless otherwise noted, all instructions and screenshots are from Microsoft Office for Windows.

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, OfZenandComputing, and Microsoft for this trick!

by Deborah Savadra

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.

WOW – You read that whole post!

Want more Legal Office Guru goodness? Give me your email and I’ll send you
my top tips & tricks for Microsoft Office
PLUS my 22-page illustrated Fast Formatting Fixes report!

Your email and other personal information will never be sold or given to any third party.