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Generate Sample Text in Word

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Submitted by Shea Gordon on Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sometimes when you’re working in Word, you’ll need some sample text – for example, you’re trying out a new template or you need placeholder text for a report you’re writing. In these situations, you just need some filler material so that you can assess the overall “look” of a document. Instead of hunting through old files and just finding material to copy and paste – a technique that can come back to haunt you if you inadvertently paste confidential material or text that’s indistinguishable from the new stuff you’re writing – you can rely on a few text-generators already installed in Microsoft Word. Here are two of them.

1.  For Word 2007 or 2010, our favorite is the “lorem generator” feature. “Lorem ipsum” refers to the dummy text  that typesetters and designers have been using since the 1500s. It’s particularly useful because it won’t pass a spell-check and it doesn’t look like English, so you don’t need to worry so much that it will get overlooked and end up in your final document.

To generate “Lorem ipsum” text, simply type this command in Word and hit ENTER: =lorem()

That will render the following:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Maecenas porttitor congue massa. Fusce posuere, magna sed pulvinar ultricies, purus lectus malesuada libero, sit amet commodo magna eros quis urna. Nunc viverra imperdiet enim. Fusce est. Vivamus a tellus. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Proin pharetra nonummy pede. Mauris et orci.

To generate a specific number of paragraphs with a specific number of lines, just put the number of paragraphs and lines in the parentheses like so: =lorem(paragraphs, lines)

For example, to generate two paragraphs of five lines each, you’d do the following: =lorem(2,5)

2. Like the lorem generator, this English-language sample text generator is available in Word 2007 and 2010. If you use this, just be certain you remember to take out the dummy text before your final draft. 

To generate random English sample text, type the following and then hit ENTER: =rand()  

It will generate something like this:

On the Insert tab, the galleries include items that are designed to coordinate with the overall look of your document. You can use these galleries to insert tables, headers, footers, lists, cover pages, and other document building blocks. When you create pictures, charts, or diagrams, they also coordinate with your current document look.

You can easily change the formatting of selected text in the document text by choosing a look for the selected text from the Quick Styles gallery on the Home tab. You can also format text directly by using the other controls on the Home tab. Most controls offer a choice of using the look from the current theme or using a format that you specify directly.

To change the overall look of your document, choose new Theme elements on the Page Layout tab. To change the looks available in the Quick Style gallery, use the Change Current Quick Style Set command. Both the Themes gallery and the Quick Styles gallery provide reset commands so that you can always restore the look of your document to the original contained in your current template.

As with the lorem text, you can specify the number of paragraphs and lines you want in the parentheses following “rand.”

3. For Word 2003 and earlier versions, the same formula applies: =rand(). But instead of text that looks like a Microsoft help file, you’ll get three paragraphs of the classic “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

For more on generating sample text, visit the Microsoft support page.

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