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Meaningless Text

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Meaningless Text.

If you are looking for a quick way to put meaningless tripe in your document, then Word is only too happy to oblige. Why would you need meaningless tripe? Perhaps to do some testing, fill some space., or to see how text looks in a given page format Regardless, Word provides a quick way to do this. Try the following:

  1. Position the cursor at the beginning of a paragraph.
  2. Type =rand() and press Enter. (It doesn't really matter if you use lowercase, uppercase, or mixed case.)

Word replaces this text with 3 paragraphs of 5 sentences each. The sentences consist the classic and ever-popular "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog."

You can vary the number of sentences per paragraph, as well as the number of paragraphs, by using the format =rand(p,s) in step 2. In this format, p is replaced with the number of paragraphs you want and s is replaced with the number of sentences per paragraph. Thus, if you wanted 9 paragraphs of 7 sentences each, you could use =rand(9,7) in step 2. You can leave out the sentence count parameter, if desired, and Word will resort to the default number of sentences per paragraph.

If creating this type of meaningless text doesn't work on your system, check the following:

  1. Choose AutoCorrect (or AutoCorrect Options) from the Tools menu. Word displays the AutoCorrect dialog box, with the AutoCorrect tab displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The AutoCorrect tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box.

  3. Make sure the Replace Text As You Type check box is selected.
  4. Click on OK to close the dialog box.

It is interesting to note that if you look through AutoCorrect replacement text entries in the AutoCorrect dialog box, you will find nothing there about this feature. It seems, instead, to be built into Word "behind the scenes."

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1082) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Meaningless Text.

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Comments for this tip:

Callie    13 Oct 2012, 11:56
In Word 2010 (and I think it started in 2007), the random text that's inserted is taken from the Help files rather than repeating the quick brown fox.

I use it in my classes to teach formatting, selecting, drag and drop, cut and paste --- all those things you need to have some words to work with. You can easily create several pages in order to also demonstrate page numbering and other header/footer topics.

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