Lorem ipsum

Lorem Ipsum filler text‘Lorem Ipsum’ are the first two words of a classic piece of dummy text. Such filler text is used when the actual text is not available yet or when creating a brand new layout. Because the text is in Latin, people won’t be distracted by it and can focus on evaluating the design itself.

For many years, this text was available on adhesive sheets in different sizes and typefaces from LetraSet. Designers would cut the text out with a cutter and stick it on the page. Aldus included the ‘Lorem ipsum’ text in PageMaker and nowadays you even see it showing up on hundreds of web pages (try a Google search for ‘lorem ipsum’).

  • According to some sources, it is useless to try and figure out what the text actually means, even in Latin it is complete gibberish. The words loosely approximate the frequency with which letters occur in English, which is why at a glance it looks pretty real.
  • Richard McClintock, a Latin professor, claims the text is a slightly scrambled version of a passage from Cicero, specifically De finibus bonorum et malorum, a treatise on the theory of ethics written in 45 BC. McClintock recalled having seen ‘lorem ipsum’ in a book of early metal type samples, which commonly used extracts from the classics.

Below you find this standard piece of text. It can be repeated any number of times to create large blocks of text.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diem nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut lacreet dolore magna aliguam erat volutpat. Ut wisis enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tution ullam corper suscipit lobortis nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis te feugi facilisi. Duis autem dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit au gue duis dolore te feugat nulla facilisi.

Lorem ipsum generators

There are quite a lot of Lorem Ipsum generators on the web, including some rather funny ones. I like Bacon Ipsum but the best one is the Samuel L. Ipsum generator.

Lorem Ipsum generator

Zombieipsum is also great fun. Slightly more serious are Journo Ipsum and Corporate Ipsum.

Accidental appearances of Lorem Ipsum text

Obviously the filler text sometimes doesn’t get replaced by the actual copy and appears in print. An amusing example that I found at kottke.org is this French bottle of wine.

Lorem Ipsum filler text is accidentally used in print on a bottle of wineHere is another example on a bag of burritos.

Example of Lorem Ipsum filler text that did not get replaced by the designerIt doesn’t have to be Lorem Ipsum, any filler text is embarrassing. It cannot get much worse than this, tweeted by @ChrisRandWrites.

mistake with filler text

Lorem Ipsum cartoons

Lorem ipsum is sometimes joked about in cartoons, such as the Cubically challenged one below from Cindy Graf.

Lorem ipsum cartoon

Another nice one was created by Terri Garofalo of entities-r-us.

Lorem Ipsum cartoon

This ‘Highur Education’ one is from Phil Jones.

Lorem ipsum cartoon

Related: pangrams

‘Lorem ipsum’ is sometimes also used as a sample text for picking a typeface. Pangrams are an alternative for this. A pangram is a sentence that uses every letter of the alphabet at least once.

The most famous one is ‘The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog’. Other examples are ‘Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs’, ‘The jay, pig, fox, zebra, and my wolves quack’ and ‘Five quacking zephyrs jolt my wax bed’. The challenge with pangrams is to create one that is as short as possible but still makes sense. I gave it a go with this tool and came up with ‘My sexy wife just came by to laugh at a dozen very quirky pangrams’. Not bad but certainly no record breaker.

In 2007 a quick brown fox did jump over a lazy dog. You can watch the full video here and of course, someone turned it into an animated GIF.

9 December 2017

14 responses to “Lorem ipsum”

  1. Gary Itano says:

    Please help?

    I just noticed that one of my Google docs where I’ve been keeping notes (changed from Evernotes about 6 months ago) has had text replaced by.this “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet: Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit …” gibberish. I’d last edited that doc about a month ago.

    Now, about a third way down, text has been replaced by the Latinesq gibberish. Curiously, the main headers are fine, while all the subtexts & headèrs had been “transformed.“

    Any idea on what happened & how to avoid a recurrence? Could I have selected the range of text & inadvertently Invoked a format function? Even if so, how did the (2) main headers remain unchanged?

    I’d really hate to loose all confidence in G-docs & have to revert to Evernote. What to do?


    • Ray Ufford says:

      Would you apprise me of the origin of your distaste for Evernote? I’m using the app myself but I haven’t established too much dependence yet. I’d appreciate knowing about fatal shortcomings before I lean on it exclusively.
      Ray Ufford

    • Laurens says:

      @Ray: Personally I think Evernote is a great tool. I stopped paying for the service when they changed their privacy policy temporarily, allowing employees to read everyone’s content. That decision got reversed but it scared me away. I may still resubscribe since I haven’t found an alternative yet that is as easy and versatile as Evernote.

  2. ayua johnson says:

    I´m using a template for my project and I was a little curious on what the text was saying, because it obviously was not in English. So I went to Lord of all anwsers: google. Next thing you know, I´m here learning that the Lorem ipsum text is on the Chipolé bag.

    • Jose Juan Carlos says:

      you are annoying,

    • Will Jackson says:

      Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan. Nam liber tempor cum soluta nobis eleifend option congue nihil imperdiet doming id quod mazim placerat facer possim assum. Typi non habent claritatem insitam; est usus legentis in iis qui facit eorum claritatem. Investigationes demonstraverunt lectores legere me lius quod ii legunt saepius.

    • rr says:

      i just want to 2nd how annoying you are

  3. AnderRoweFalseName says:

    I am currently writing a report on Google Docs using the MLA format template, I got curious was the latin stuff was and searched it up. All I know is that the first two words closely translate to Pain Itself

  4. sk says:

    haha i tried it on word it came up the same

  5. Robyn Ramesh says:

    Hello there. I necessary to inquire some thing’¦is this a wordpress web site as we are thinking about transferring across to WP. Moreover did you make this theme all by yourself? Cheers.

  6. James says:

    I came across this tip in the SF Chronicle a couple of years ago. Microsoft Word will automatically generate Lorem Ipsum text. Type “=lorem(Number1,Number2)” replacing Number1 with the number of paragraphs you want and Number2 with the length of each paragraph in sentences.

  7. John says:

    While working on an ad for a client, I used Lorem Ipsum for the filler text:

    Client: Got the ad & love it, but what does that text say?

    Me: It’s Latin for “This is filler text”.

    Client: Where did you learn latin?

  8. Jan Cox says:

    On the eve of the merger of Aldus and Adobe, a ‘yearbook’ was published by the Aldusians. Someone took the liberty to spell-check the “Lorem ipsum” text. When picking the alternatives suggested by the PageMaker spellchecker, this was the result:

    Lorna’s dolorous bosom aiming consecutively at him, Eliot felt eclipsed by his damn pneumonia. (His) ethmoids nabbed him with the tenacity of a lorikeet. He drooled at this large Algerian with irate voluptuousness. He wished he’d taken an enema at the Venus Quai, or at least (some) nostril exercise at Ulamcorper Station–that cesspit of libertines–but his nasal equipment at every commode was already consecrated. “God (he thought), I’ll atone for this. Her hindquarters are of a golden hairiness, yet her veiled voluptuaries are consequently the homeliest.” Then, slowly, he figured it out: they were only falsies.

    From “Manutius, The Aldus Yearbook 1984–1994”, Seattle, 1994

    • Laurens says:

      I tried the same with the spellchecker of Open Office, which doesn’t really come up with such a creative correction. I can only guess that the merger parties must have brought out the best in both the people and the software 🙂

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