The Eternal Lorem Ipsum

If you've studied design at all, you've probably encountered Lorem Ipsum placeholder text at some point. Anywhere there is text, but the meaning of that text isn't particularly important, you might see Lorem Ipsum.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at:

Great post! For WordPress developers, I made a plugin called WP-Lipsum that gives you a shortcode to access a whole bunch of Lorem Ipsum snippets:

And then there’s Lauren Ipsum, a book by Carlos Bueno that came out recently that illustrates computer-science concepts in the form of a children’s adventure story.

My personal favorite boilerplate text is an excerpt from Finnegan’s Wake:

The fall (bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk!) of a once wallstrait oldparr is retaled early in bed and later on life down through all christian minstrelsy. The great fall of the offwall entailed at such short notice the pftjschute of Finnegan, erse solid man, that the humptyhillhead of humself prumptly sends an unquiring one well to the west in quest of his tumptytumtoes: and their upturnpikepointandplace is at the knock out in the park where oranges have been laid to rust upon the green since dev linsfirst loved livvy.

That super-long word is great for finding issues in your layout (like, in user-submitted comments that might include very long URLs).

I even wrote a jQuery plugin which lets me insert that wherever I like on a page:

It’s not a tradition in layout, but there is a standard photo for image processing. Meet Lenna:

Thanks for compiling this list.

I agree, Fillerati is great!

I must admit, even though I seem to just go back to lorem ispum text for placeholders, I don’t find it visually appealing when used in a layout. Perhaps it’s because it doesn’t look intelligible and thus it draws attention to itself? It often appears as a wall of text in your vision, not normal paragraphs of text.

I think I may move to using randomly sourced factual information from Wikipedia or something.

And another in the Possibly NSFW which anticipated this post by a couple of days.

Holy fucking coincidence Batman! I just watched that episode of TinTin with my niece this morning! Also, “readable” is bad, horrible English and you should be ashamed of yourself. The word you are looking for is legible. Just because Americans decide to create a word, doesnt mean it is correct.

Great post! One other thing I’ve found helpful lastely is - drop anything in there and you get an image, e.g.

There is Skyrim Ipsum for gamers:

Great post.

I have stopped using lorem ipsum since I do lots of client work in swedish. Swedish look a lot more spiky while lorem ipsum is quite round.

I end up using the first paragraph from a random swedish wikipedia entry.

“readable” is bad, horrible English and you should be ashamed of yourself. The word you are looking for is legible.

“Legible” is understood by most people here in England as the opposite of illegible, and usually used to denote lettering that’s clear due to the writing or printing. It’s also rarely used except to castigate handwriting.

Or in short, words change (horror!) and often only one meaning carries through from the languages we steal them from.

Did you know MSWord has native support for lorem?

In any word document, just type =lorem()

For two paragraphs of three sentences, you can type =lorem(2,3)

This is in addition to the classic =rand() and (in newer versions of MSWord) =rand.old()

I’ve never really had a use for Lorem Ipsum. If I did, I might use my random sentence generator instead. Most of the time, it’s nonsense (Wanton bedrooms had been tasting outward superb.) but occasionally it speaks the truth (Authorities fail.) or has something almost profound (The valid teaching will have related.).

I find lorem ipsum distracting, because I can’t help trying to read it, whereas I would tend to ignore some similarly obvious boilerplate gibberish in English.

Nothing will ever beat Samuel L Ipsum is a Lorem Ipsum Generator, it uses quotes from films Samuel L Jackson has been in.

Oh. So that’s probably (sorta) what that was.

At the end of the 70’s I was in the Navy and living within walking distance of Japan for a year or so. Occasionally you see a young Japanese woman (as I recall) wearing a shirt with an English word or two written on it.

The words never made any kind of sense to me. It was as though they were there just because it was English, not because it meant anything.

This always makes me wonder when I see someone in the West wearing a shirt with a Kanji symbol on it. Does it mean anything or is it just a pretty piece of art which happens to also be a symbol in an Eastern language?

Gonna plug my own tool which uses Markov chains to generate almost-readable unique random text: