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Filler Text (Lorem Ipsum Dolor Sit Amet...)

It's a chicken-and-egg nightmare. In order to write a web page, you need to have the layout to put the text in. The layout doesn't appear until you have text to put in it. What can you do?

You turn to a filler text generator! These are websites (or perhaps tools built into your design software) that can generate paragraphs of dummy text to plug into a layout you're working on. No one will ever mistake it for real content, so it'll do nicely while you're busy with the visuals.

A brief history of filler text

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

You've probably seen this text before somewhere. "Lorem ipsum" is the industry standard filler text, first popularized by a company named Letraset in the 1960's (though its use is speculated to go back to the 1500's). Though it looks like gibberish Latin, it's actually a cut up version of "On the Ends of Good and Evil" by the Roman philosopher Cicero. "Lorem ipsum" comes from the phrase "dolorem ipsum"—"sorrow in itself".

Lorem ipsum's introduction to the digital world came from none other than Aldus (and later Adobe) PageMaker. PageMaker made a huge splash on the Macintosh in 1985. While it wasn't the only consumer desktop publishing software of its day, it helped bring the expensive world of typesetting and layouts into the hands of small businesses and hobbyist groups for the first time.

One of PageMaker's innovations: letting you fill up your layouts with random text that helps keep the focus on your layout instead of the content. While some bemoan filler text for that reason, creating pages meant to look nice and not to support what's read on them, the fact is, it remains useful for prototyping purposes.

Recommended filler text generators

Assuming you're using Tesserae's recommended setup of a text editor, you likely can't generate filler text directly in your HTML editor. Thankfully, plenty of sites exist to generate both straightforward, randomized lorem ipsum, or more humorous kinds of filler text. Exercise discretion, depending on what you need the filler text for. Here's some of our favorites.

For properly random filler text: lipsum.com

For the classic lorem ipsum experience, lipsum.com's the best I've seen. The site has a brief history of the text, plus some translations of the text (and in a ton of languages to boot!). As for the generator itself, you can generate any arbitrary number of paragraphs, words, bytes of text, or lists of filler options. There are also banners and buttons, including 88x31s, if you found it useful and want to link back to it.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Integer dictum ipsum urna, et mattis massa pharetra vitae. Aenean nec dolor commodo felis egestas elementum. Vivamus egestas tortor a quam feugiat.

For that pretentious streak in you: Hipster Ipsum

I used to use Hipster Ipsum all the time; it's a look. Instead of gibberish Latin, you get normcore, microdosing, Williamsburg, kitch, woke, vaping, PBR&B, aesthetic, and post-irony. (You can still throw in a shot of gibberish Latin if you'd like.) I think the humor value has gone down a little over time (the site used to make fun of you for using Bootstrap! In the current year!), but it's still a look and still fun.

Direct trade bicycle rights chia ugh meditation hella umami tote bag enamel pin hot chicken. Sriracha lomo coloring book semiotics williamsburg single-origin coffee trust fund tofu. Hexagon brunch beard prism raclette brooklyn leggings kickstarter tousled gastropub gluten-free pug.

Because it's cheaper than a lawyer: Legal Ipsum

Yep, it's legal eagle speak in a generator! Honestly, it reminds me a lot of those LICENSE files packed into open source repos that no one reads. Weirdly, this one doesn't let you generate an arbitrary amount of paragraphs, only 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, and 13 at a time. Still, judging by the about page, the developer never lets a good novelty go to waste, so I approve.

No hardware per se is licensed hereunder. Recipient understands that although Apple and (ii) that cover subject matter hereof. This License shall be deemed to create any relationship of agency, partnership, joint venture between PSF and Licensee.

For crushing your own soul: Office Ipsum

Two generators in one! You can either generate meetingspeak or random text based on the feedback people give to their web designers. (Or normal old lorem ipsum, if you really want.)

Office ipsum:

I'll book a meeting so we can solution this before the sprint is over can you champion this yet peel the onion or usabiltiy, but win-win-win. We need to leverage our synergies this is meaningless loop back. Ladder up / ladder back to the strategy eat our own dog food or anti-pattern for pushback, but we need to make the new version clean and sexy.

Client ipsum:

I know you've made thirty iterations but can we go back to the first one that was the best version this red is too red I have printed it out, but the animated gif is not moving can you lower the price for the website? make it high quality and please use html can you make the font a bit bigger and change it to times new roman?


  1. Filler text (or lorem ipsum text) is a highly effective way to fill out a layout you're working on.
  2. The classic "lorem ipsum" text comes from a scrambled 1st Century BC text by Cicero and was brought to common use by PageMaker in the 1980's.
  3. If your editor can't generate filler text on its own, plenty of sites will let you generate either the classic Latin gibberish or goofy variants on it.

Further reading