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Alternative Ways of Creating Random 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: Alternative Ways of Creating Random Text.

Other issues of WordTips discuss the undocumented RAND function in Word and how it can be used to generate random text. (At the start of a new paragraph, type =rand() and press Enter. There are other ways to use the command, but those are documented elsewhere in WordTips.) If you get bored seeing "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog," you may be wondering if there are alternative ways of generating random text.

The short answer is no, there isn't, if you are looking for a method as simple as the RAND function. The most common alternative is to use what is often referred to as "lorem ipsum" text. This is meaningless, Latin-looking text that is used by those in the printing and publishing business to simulate real text. The following is an example:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Nullam pulvinar wisi ac elit. Sed congue pretium nibh. Curabitur felis nulla, tincidunt sed, lacinia ac, varius ut, tellus. Nullam ac neque ac magna gravida porta. Fusce condimentum odio ut dolor. Morbi ante ipsum, ultrices vel, hendrerit eu, porta eget, felis. Donec ac ligula non tellus semper pretium. Morbi purus orci, hendrerit vitae, condimentum sit amet, suscipit vel, nisl. Nunc nulla erat, cursus id, dapibus sit amet, ornare sit amet, mauris. Nam eget diam et nisl pharetra tincidunt. Suspendisse vel velit vitae diam vestibulum tincidunt. Aenean rhoncus pellentesque purus. Nullam volutpat felis vitae quam. Donec rutrum.

While this may look erudite, it is actually meaningless text. A quick search of the Internet will locate several places where you can generate lorem ipsum text, but the site at http://www.lipsum.com is the best I have seen.

If you want more background information on both the RAND function and lorem ipsum text, refer to the following article at the Word MVP site:

http://word.mvps.org/FAQs/Formatting/DummyText.htm

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1334) 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: Alternative Ways of Creating Random Text.

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The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

 

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Comments for this tip:

Richard Wright    30 Jul 2015, 14:53
If you enter this:
=rand.old()

You get this:
The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

awyatt    31 Jan 2012, 10:05
David,

You can only use the "lorem" function in Word 2007 or Word 2010. This particular article is about earlier versions of Word, where that function won't work. However, if you click the link at the end of the article to the version for later versions, you'll see the "lorem" function described there, where it is applicable.

-Allen
David Ziegler    30 Jan 2012, 22:53
You can also create random text by using "lorem" in place of "rand":
=lorem()
 
 

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