What is Lorem ipsum and what is it used for

Yuliia Zablotska
Author at ApiX-Drive
Reading time: ~9 min

During the development of a web page, it is filled with specially generated nonsense text called Lorem ipsum. We will tell you what is it, why is it used and where you can get it.

1. What is Lorem ipsum
2. Why Lorem ipsum is needed
3. Does language matter?
4. Ways to generate a template
5. Lorem ipsum generators
6. How to generate in Microsoft Word
7. Contraindications for use
8. Summing up


What is Lorem ipsum

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet... Sounds like a terrible ancient spell. Do not be afraid, you will not cause anything otherworldly. It's just a "Latin stub". Its purpose is to imitate text on a website page. Such a "filler" saves time for web designers (they do not have to wait for the finished content to appear) and allows the customer to fully focus on evaluating the graphic performance of the product.

Latin is good because it cannot be confused with your native language. This eliminates the erroneous approval of the text by the editor and sending it for publication.

What is this text about

Few people understand the meaning of this text. Many generally consider it an abstract technical abracadabra, not even suspecting how wrong they are.

It turns out that the author of the strange fragment is the ancient Roman politician, orator, writer and philosopher Mark Thulius Cicero. The text is taken from his treatise entitled "On the Limits of Good and Evil", which was written by him in 45 BC. In it, he discusses the problems of morality and society, the concepts of good and evil, as well as the everyday life of the Romans.

The combination of the words "Lorem ipsum" cannot be called correct, because "Lorem" is part of the word "Dolorem". The entire sentence in which it is located looks like this: "Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit...".

The "Lorem ipsum" fragment contains many garbled lines. Therefore, to determine the real source of the text, scientists had to conduct a full investigation. Belonging to the treatise of Cicero was discovered by the staff of the design magazine "Before & After" only in 1994. But why did you need to twist the words of the philosopher?

The answer is simple. "Lorem ipsum" is a pangram or a letter alphabet (a phrase, expression or text that includes all the letters from the alphabet). Its task is to demonstrate the font, so the meaning of its creation does not really matter.

There are pangrams in different languages

There are pangrams in different languages of the world. And yet it is "Lorem ipsum" that is used most often.

History of appearance and application

During the Middle Ages, typesetters simultaneously performed the duties of a typographer - they were engaged in the creation of font samples with different styles for printing. The text stub let them know how many lines would fit on a page and whether the type design they chose was appropriate for a particular book. One of the compositors had the idea to make the text meaningless so that the customer would pay maximum attention to the graphic performance of the font, and not to the content of what was written. At that moment, a page from the book of Cicero turned up under his arm and he “constructed” the very abracadabra from it: the Latin “dolorem”, meaning “suffering” or “pain”, after “cutting off the excess” was transformed into “lorem”. This is how the paragraph widely known to web designers appeared.

In the 20th century, Lorem ipsum became the standard in the design industry. In the 1960s, if it was necessary to insert printed text into an upcoming advertising layout, it was not drawn by hand, but a stencil was taken and the desired style was translated from it. Such “translating” sheets were produced by the British company Letraset. The stencil text, you guessed it, was the same Lorem ipsum in an assortment of formats and sizes.

In the era of computerization, graphic design has become much easier. In 1985, Aldus released PageMaker 1.0, one of the first programs for layout and page layout. The list of its functions included Ciceron's Lorem ipsum.

Why Lorem ipsum is needed

The customer cannot always immediately give the designer already prepared advertising slogans, texts describing the composition of the product for its packaging or a set of articles for the site being developed. Usually a designer, copywriter and marketer work on the same project at the same time. Therefore, the place where the real text should be is temporarily closed with a meaningless set of words - a placeholder or a stub. Lorem ipsum is the most famous placeholder and is widely used in layouts.

Why make it so difficult? Isn't it possible to just leave free space where the text will be placed later, you ask. No. After all, the text is one of the components of the overall design. The type of letters, their size and color are very important for the composition as a whole. And the customer still needs to agree on the selected font, so he will have to see at least a couple of paragraphs of text as an example.

Does language matter

In some cases, language matters a lot. For example, let's compare Cyrillic and Latin. In Cyrillic, the word length is longer than in Latin, and the width of the letters also differs. Thus sentences in these writing systems have different sizes. The rhythmic pattern of the whole text also differs significantly.

The Adobe InDesign layout program allows you to select the desired placeholder language, and each page will be automatically filled with text in Latin, Cyrillic or hieroglyphics.

Lorem ipsum in Latin may well be used for texts in Ukrainian, but only if the artistic nuances of the lettering are not of decisive importance. The stub in the original is used, for example, to place a description of the composition of the product on the label or packaging, some formal information on the site page. The text stub in these cases serves as a designation that there should be so many lines of letters printed in a specific dark font.

Each of you at least once downloaded ready-made templates from the Internet

Probably, each of you at least once downloaded ready-made personal website templates from the Internet or greeting cards, social media posts, presentations. In the places where the text was introduced, there was Lorem ipsum in English, since the target audience is English-speaking people. If you are going to put text in Russian there, it is important to remember how Latin differs from Cyrillic. It may turn out to be longer, and because of this you will have to reduce the font size. If the size does not really matter, feel free to show your client a layout with a classic Lorem ipsum and do not waste time choosing a Russian-language stub.

Ways to generate a placeholder

There are several ways to generate Lorem ipsum:

  • Online generator. It is convenient that nothing needs to be installed additionally. With it, you can generate both words individually, and entire paragraphs or lists). It is also possible to adjust the size of the text for the stub. You just need to copy the finished placeholder from the online generator page and paste it to yourself.
  • Console utility. The Terminal system program is a universal tool with which you can even make a template for a web page. To do this, use the npm package manager for Node.js and install the tool of your choice (for example, Getlorem).
  • GUI application. By installing it on a personal computer, you can generate words or paragraphs and copy them to the clipboard, and then paste the placeholder text on a web page. This application is very easy to use, but at the same time too little functionality. Therefore, you will need to “tag” the text yourself manually. An example of such a program for macOS is LoremBuilder (distributed for free).
  • Plug-in. For most code editors, special modules have been developed with the help of which text is created and inserted directly into the application itself. Let's take the cross-platform source code editor Visual Studio Code as an example. Plug-ins for it can be obtained from the Marketplace catalog. True, even here you will have to do routine manual work to enclose the finished text in tags.

Lorem ipsum generators

The Lorem ipsum generator is a tool for creating your own template. Its main advantage is that it carefully provides the user with ready-made text. This saves a lot of time because you don't have to monitor other sites looking for a suitable stub or write it from scratch. In addition to the classic version, today it can be used to generate almost anything, even original and funny texts.

Online generator loremipsum.io

Online generators

We offer a list of online Lorem ipsum generators for every taste:

  • Lorem-ipsum.info
  • Blind Text Generator
  • Getlorem
  • Bacon ipsum
  • Heisenberg Ipsum
  • Hipster Ipsum
  • HodorIpsum
  • Dummy Text Generator
  • Corporate Ipsum
  • BS Ipsum
  • Not Lorem Ipsum
  • Veggie Ipsum
  • Lebowski ipsum
  • Space Ipsum
  • Trollem Ipsum

Applications and browser extensions

In addition to online Lorem ipsum generators, which are usually used on a personal computer, there are applications for creating a template on a mobile device and browser extensions that perform the same function.

  • WebTool Lorem Ipsum Filler (Android)
  • Lorem Ipsum Random Text Generator (Android)
  • Lorem Ipsum Generator Keyboard (iOS)
  • Lorem Ipsum Generator (extension for Google Chrome)
  • Yet Another Lorem Ipsum Generator (extension for Google Chrome)
  • Lorem Fill (extension for Opera)
  • OpenLorem (extension for Mozilla Firefox)

Plugins for text editors

You can add Lorem ipsum to an HTML document using special plugins for text editors. Let's take a few of the most common as an example.

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  • WordPress Example Content
  • WordPress Lorem Ipsum Generator

For Atom Text Editor:

  • Atom Lorem Ipsum Package
  • Atom Lipsum Generator

For Sublime Text Editor:

  • Sublime Lorem Text
  • Sublime Lorem Ipsum Generator

For Brackets Text Editor:

  • Brackets Lorem Ipsum Package

How to generate in Microsoft Word

To create a classic text stub Lorem ipsum, you can use not only online generators, special modules, applications, but also regular MS Word. It is generated here very easily.

Open the document, write (or copy-paste) the combination =lorem() in the place you need and press the Enter key. It is convenient that in brackets you can indicate the required number of paragraphs and how many sentences should be in each. For example, =lorem(3,4) will give you 3 paragraphs, each with 4 sentences.

Lorem ipsum in Microsoft Word

Do you use MS Word 2007 and want a placeholder in the language that you have set in the program settings? Then apply the =rand() combination and don't forget to press Enter. You will generate an arbitrary array of text in this language.

Contraindications for use

In some cases, the use of a text stub is strongly discouraged. When the look of the text is critical to the design of a page, working blindly will result in everything having to be redone.

The layout of massive catalogs or large texts in books requires a painstaking approach to word hyphenation, paragraphs, headings, footnotes. Defects such as separate lines at the beginning of a page or column, single words per line at the end of a paragraph, and unfortunate spaces that create vertical or diagonal gaps are unacceptable. Short titles and slogans generally require fine work on letter spacing. For all this, a text stub in any language is completely unsuitable.

When designing an identity or advertising, sometimes the typography itself needs some creativity. To create font compositions, the location, style and size of each letter can be adjusted. You can't use a placeholder here either.

The ability to use a template is influenced by several factors: the importance of the design decision, the complexity of the text, and the deadline for the project. If the creative intent is closely related to typography, Lorem ipsum should be discarded.

Summing up

A large number of perfectly readable placeholder texts are available today. Most often they are used exclusively to fill an empty space. Usually these versions of Ciceron's Lorem ipsum are quite interesting and are short funny or meaningless stories.

After finalizing the web page template, don't forget to replace the stub with a unique text that matches the theme of the site. Otherwise, the search engines will consider the page irrelevant and this will create unnecessary problems for you.


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