What Exactly Is Lorem Ipsum?


“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit”. If you’ve ever seen this text and been confused about what it means (or even what language it’s in!), you’re not alone. More often than not, whenever lorem ipsum is used it leads to more confusion and questions than anything else. But with a little explanation, lorem ipsum can become something less feared and more understood.

Lorem Ipsum: What, Why, and When

The biggest question that goes unanswered is: Just what is lorem ipsum, anyway? Lorem ipsum is simply placeholder text that’s used to see how graphical elements like fonts, icons, and layouts will look when put together on a page. It has roots in Latin but various words have been altered, added, and removed over time so that the result is purely nonsensical filler text rather than meaningful content.

But why use lorem ipsum when you could just type “test test test” or simple English placeholder text? The problem with using plain text like “test” is that it looks unprofessional and doesn’t give you an accurate idea of how the layout will look with real content in place. Repeating the same short words like “test” over and over can throw off measurements for containers and columns, since real content will have varying word lengths.

Lorem ipsum provides a balance – it’s not distracting and readable like plain English, but also gives you realistically distributed letter and word lengths to see the impact on line wrapping, white space, etc. The nonsensical nature prevents it from attracting too much attention while you focus on design elements.

When Should You Use Lorem Ipsum?

Lorem ipsum is commonly used in:

  • Wireframe design – Place lorem ipsum into simple layout prototypes to get a feel for information hierarchy and positioning without distraction

  • Graphic design – Drop lorem ipsum text into brochures, flyers, posters, etc. to preview typography and determine ideal font sizes/styles

  • Web/UI design – Fill lorem text into page components like headers, columns, sidebars, etc. to gauge spacing, flow, and responsive behavior

  • Presentations – Use lorem ipsum charts/graphs with “dummy data” for concept proofs before real data is available

  • Printing – Lorem ipsum provides realistic text for printer tests to confirm formatting, pagination, etc. without wasting paper

Essentially any time you need placeholder text before final copy is approved, lorem ipsum is the standard dummy text of choice. The filler text allows you to focus on design aesthetics and core functionality rather than getting distracted by draft content.

Lorem Ipsum Generating Tools

Typing lorem ipsum by hand can be tedious, so online lorem ipsum generators make it quick and easy to grab dummy text. Here are some top tools:

  • Lipsum.com – Simple lorem ipsum generator with option for paragraphs or a full page

  • Meettheipsums.com – Get lorem ipsum text tailored to various topics like food, movies, travel, etc.

  • Loripsum.net – Customize number of paragraphs, sentences, and format (text vs HTML)

  • Baconipsum.com – For a fun twist, generate bacon-themed lorem ipsum text

Don’t Copy Lorem Ipsum to a Live Website!

One final word of caution when using lorem ipsum – make sure you replace it with real content before your website or materials go live. Search engines penalize pages with “gibberish” text, and visitors expect to see meaningful information on a finished site. Lorem ipsum is for draft purposes only!

The bottom line is that lorem ipsum is a handy text tool for mockups and prototypes, giving you filler copy that looks more realistic than plain “test” text without becoming distracting like actual content. With the multitude of lorem ipsum generators available, it’s easy to grab dummy text and see how your layouts shape up before pouring in the real content.

Get Expert Help with Web Design and Development

Hopefully this article has helped demystify lorem ipsum and illuminated how it can be a useful tool for testing web design and other projects. But lorem ipsum is just one small piece of building a professional digital presence.

For over 25 years, the web design and development experts at Infogenix have been creating custom websites, programming complex web applications, optimizing sites for maximum visibility, and helping businesses succeed online.

With our decades of experience planning, designing, building and launching hundreds of websites, we have the knowledge to make your web presence stand out from competitors and achieve your online goals. Whether you need a completely new website, ecommerce portal, mobile app, visual rebrand, or anything in between, we have the skills to bring your vision to life.

If you’re looking to take your website and online marketing to the next level, contact Infogenix today. Our team would love to discuss your needs and show you samples of our work. With our expertise guiding your project, you can leverage the power of the web to grow your business and connect with customers. Discover how we’ve helped companies thrive online for over 25 years!