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27 May 2013

What is Lorem Ipsum?

We are occasionally asked about the filler text we use, which we colloquially refer to as 'Lorem ipsum'.  'Lorem ipsum' is simply paragraphs of latin words that are inserted into a design or a document as the text content. It is used with the intention of giving the layout being presented a more accurate depiction of what the finished layout will look like when final text is put into it. To someone who hasn't come across it before, this probably looks a little strange. The question, 'Why isn't it in English?' has been asked many a time.

The words themselves are taken from various Latin texts. The sentences formed have had words added, altered and removed, so even if it was in English, it is little more than random words thrown together.  The very fact that it is in another language is one of the main reason for the use of 'Lorem ipsum' - because it stops the viewer from becoming distracted and reading the text, instead of reviewing the overall document or design as a whole.  Since most of us can't read Latin, we tend to gloss over the details of the content and take in the overall layout much more easily.

We use this filler text when submitting both design and build previews to a client or to someone conducting quality assurance checks on the design or build of a website.  It has also been used for the better part of 50 years in the print media, and more recently, digital media industries.  Using the same text over and over for every design does get a little repetitive for us after a while. Thankfully, the internet comes to the rescue here with many more, often comical, options to choose from.

Bacon Ipsum is one of my favourites, or for the meat averse, try Veggie Ipsum, or for a sweet tooth, Cupcake Ipsum. If literature is more your thing, Fillerati uses excerpts from well known books.  Fillerama uses text from cartoons...  You get the idea.

 

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So if you are provided designs or are reviewing your website on our staging server and you come across any seemingly random text content not related to your business - 'Lorem ipsum' - you now know what it is there for.  Remember to exchange this for your own copy before we make your site visible to the world.


Haydon
AUTHOR

Haydon

UI Development Manager
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