What’s That Lorem Ipsum Text and How Do I Get It?

Have you ever wondered what this text that you see in mockups, wireframes, or sample data is?

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Well, it’s the magical, mythical “lorem ipsum” text that most designers use to fill up areas that will have text in their designs so that people looking at the design won’t get hung up on the details of the words.  In my experience, it often has the *opposite* effect. (We’d never type text like that. What does that mean?  Will the field allow English? etc.)

In any case, if you need some of this text, you can easily generate it in two ways that I use every once in a while. 

As a first option, you can go into Microsoft Word (2007 and above?) and type =lorem() and hit Enter and you’ll get three paragraphs by default.  If you need a different number of paragraphs, specify the number in the function, like =lorem(5).

Another option is to go to a page like Lorem Ipsum – All the facts – Lipsum generator. There, you can generate lorem ispum text, and also read far more than you’ll ever want to know about this text.  It’s actually far more interesting than you’d expect. (Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s…)


Adding Graphics to Microsoft Word 2007

I’ve been using Word 2007 since it was released, but somehow I’ve not needed to do any real graphical work in it until now.  I was getting frustrated trying to figure out how to add multiple graphical objects into my Word document until I found something which talked about adding a Drawing Canvas.

To do this, you go to Insert / Shapes / New Drawing Canvas.  No, you’re not being dense, it’s way down at the bottom of the dialog.  (If it’s somewhere else more obvious, then I’m missing it.)  Once you’ve added the Drawing Canvas, you have the full Office 2007 graphics engine available to you.  What this means is that you can build up graphics like you may be used to creating in PowerPoint, with grouping, alignment, etc.

The only drawback I’ve found so far is that I can’t paste graphic objects from the Vista Snipping Tool into the Drawing Canvas.  Instead, I find that it works to save the screen snip to a file and then use the Insert / Picture / From File dialog.  A little cumbersome, but not a bad workaround.