test page – wp

Lorem Ipsum: when, and when not to use it
Do you like Cheese Whiz? Spray tan? Fake eyelashes? That’s what is Lorem Ipsum to many—it rubs them the wrong way, all the way. It’s unreal, uncanny, makes you wonder if something is wrong, it seems to seek your attention for all the wrong reasons. Usually, we prefer the real thing, wine without sulfur based preservatives, real butter, not margarine, and so we’d like our layouts and designs to be filled with real words, with thoughts that count, information that has value.
The toppings you may chose for that TV dinner pizza slice when you forgot to shop for foods, the paint you may slap on your face to impress the new boss is your business. But what about your daily bread? Design comps, layouts, wireframes—will your clients accept that you go about things the facile way? Authorities in our business will tell in no uncertain terms that Lorem Ipsum is that huge, huge no no to forswear forever. Not so fast, I’d say, there are some redeeming factors in favor of greeking text, as its use is merely the symptom of a worse problem to take into consideration.

You begin with a text, you sculpt information, you chisel away what’s not needed, you come to the point, make things clear, add value, you’re a content person, you like words. Design is no afterthought, far from it, but it comes in a deserved second. Anyway, you still use Lorem Ipsum and rightly so, as it will always have a place in the web workers toolbox, as things happen, not always the way you like it, not always in the preferred order. Even if your less into design and more into content strategy you may find some redeeming value with, wait for it, dummy copy, no less.

Consider this: You made all the required mock ups for commissioned layout, got all the approvals, built a tested code base or had them built, you decided on a content management system, got a license for it or adapted open source software for your client’s needs. Then the question arises: where’s the content? Not there yet? That’s not so bad, there’s dummy copy to the rescue. But worse, what if the fish doesn’t fit in the can, the foot’s to big for the boot? Or to small? To short sentences, to many headings, images too large for the proposed design, or too small, or they fit in but it looks iffy for reasons the folks in the meeting can’t quite tell right now, but they’re unhappy, somehow. A client that’s unhappy for a reason is a problem, a client that’s unhappy though he or her can’t quite put a finger on it is worse.

But. A big but: Lorem Ipsum is not t the root of the problem, it just shows what’s going wrong. Chances are there wasn’t collaboration, communication, and checkpoints, there wasn’t a process agreed upon or specified with the granularity required. It’s content strategy gone awry right from the start. Forswearing the use of Lorem Ipsum wouldn’t have helped, won’t help now. It’s like saying you’re a bad designer, use less bold text, don’t use italics in every other paragraph. True enough, but that’s not all that it takes to get things back on track.

So Lorem Ipsum is bad (not necessarily)

There’s lot of hate out there for a text that amounts to little more than garbled words in an old language. The villagers are out there with a vengeance to get that Frankenstein, wielding torches and pitchforks, wanting to tar and feather it at the least, running it out of town in shame.

One of the villagers, Kristina Halvorson from Adaptive Path, holds steadfastly to the notion that design can’t be tested without real content:

I’ve heard the argument that “lorem ipsum” is effective in wireframing or design because it helps people focus on the actual layout, or color scheme, or whatever. What kills me here is that we’re talking about creating a user experience that will (whether we like it or not) be DRIVEN by words. The entire structure of the page or app flow is FOR THE WORDS.
If that’s what you think how bout the other way around? How can you evaluate content without design? No typography, no colors, no layout, no styles, all those things that convey the important signals that go beyond the mere textual, hierarchies of information, weight, emphasis, oblique stresses, priorities, all those subtle cues that also have visual and emotional appeal to the reader. Rigid proponents of content strategy may shun the use of dummy copy but then designers might want to ask them to provide style sheets with the copy decks they supply that are in tune with the design direction they require.

Or else, an alternative route: set checkpoints, networks, processes, junctions between content and layout. Depending on the state of affairs it may be fine to concentrate either on design or content, reversing gears when needed.

Or maybe not. How about this: build in appropriate intersections and checkpoints between design and content. Accept that it’s sometimes okay to focus just on the content or just on the design.

Luke Wroblewski, currently a Product Director at Google, holds that fake data can break down in real life:

Using dummy content or fake information in the Web design process can result in products with unrealistic assumptions and potentially serious design flaws. A seemingly elegant design can quickly begin to bloat with unexpected content or break under the weight of actual activity. Fake data can ensure a nice looking layout but it doesn’t reflect what a living, breathing application must endure. Real data does.
Websites in professional use templating systems. Commercial publishing platforms and content management systems ensure that you can show different text, different data using the same template. When it’s about controlling hundreds of articles, product pages for web shops, or user profiles in social networks, all of them potentially with different sizes, formats, rules for differing elements things can break, designs agreed upon can have unintended consequences and look much different than expected.

This is quite a problem to solve, but just doing without greeking text won’t fix it. Using test items of real content and data in designs will help, but there’s no guarantee that every oddity will be found and corrected. Do you want to be sure? Then a prototype or beta site with real content published from the real CMS is needed—but you’re not going that far until you go through an initial design cycle.

Lorem Ipsum actually is usefull in the design stage as it focuses our attention on places where the content is a dynamic block coming from the CMS (unlike static content elements that will always stay the same.) Blocks of Lorem Ipsum with a character count range provide a obvious reminder to check and re-check that the design and the content model match up.

Kyle Fiedler from the Design Informer feels that distracting copy is your fault:

If the copy becomes distracting in the design then you are doing something wrong or they are discussing copy changes. It might be a bit annoying but you could tell them that that discussion would be best suited for another time. At worst the discussion is at least working towards the final goal of your site where questions about lorem ipsum don’t.
Summing up, if the copy is diverting attention from the design it’s because it’s not up to task.

Typographers of yore didn’t come up with the concept of dummy copy because people thought that content is inconsequential window dressing, only there to be used by designers who can’t be bothered to read. Lorem Ipsum is needed because words matter, a lot. Just fill up a page with draft copy about the client’s business and they will actually read it and comment on it. They will be drawn to it, fiercely. Do it the wrong way and draft copy can derail your design review.

Asking the client to pay no attention Lorem Ipsum isn’t hard as it doesn’t make sense in the first place, that will limit any initial interest soon enough. Try telling a client to ignore draft copy however, and you’re up to something you can’t win. Whenever draft copy comes up in a meeting confused questions about it ensue.

Summing up, really:

Lorem Ipsum is a tool that can be useful, used intentionally it may help solve some problems. If you go about content strategy the wrong way, fix that problem.

Lorem Ipsum plugins
Office suites
MS Word: From 2007 onwards typing =lorem(i) or =lorem(i, j) in MS Word creates greeking text–don’t forget to hit the enter key; i and j need to be integers, where i stands for the amount of desired paragraphs and j numbers the sentences per paragraph. j has a default value of 3 and a maximum set to 6665. >> screenshots
Open Office: An extension named Magenta Lorem ipsum generator is available at services.openoffice.org. Once installed, an icon will be shown in a toolbar below the menu bar, with the option to insert a number of paragraphs, the maximum is set to 25. >> screenshots
Libre Office: Magenta Lorem Ipsum Generator 2.0.2, available for LibreOffice 3.3, LibreOffice 3.4, and LibreOffice 3.5.
Lorem Ipsum plugins: content management systems (CMS)
Dummy Content: an editor button and system plugin (Joomla extension) that sets random dummy copy in articles or in other content item that have editors like custom HTML modules, category descriptions, or third party content.

Folcomedia – Button Lorem Ipsum: creates a button in the editor to insert a paragraph of “Lorem Ipsum” greeking text.

Content Fake: a component that allows for easy creation of menu items, quickly creating paragraphs of “Lorem Ipsum” and pictures with custom sizes.

Overview of all Joomla plugins for Lorem Ipsum generation.

Lorem Ipsum Generator: Creates a button on wysiwyg toolbars to add a configurable amount of Lorem Ipsum text to a post, page or any other custom post type.

lorem shortcode: This plugin contains two shortcodes, lorem and loremimage, the loremimage shortcode can be nested in the lorem shortcode.

WP Dummy Content: Easy generation and deletion of blog posts, pages, and sub pages for developers. Full site structure in one click.

WP Dummy Post Generator: A plugin that generates dummy posts and dummy categories. It also allows to set names for blogs or taglines.

Bulk Page Maker: Creates up to 20 pages or posts at a time. You can choose title, slug, parent, template, status, format, and content via the default WordPress Editor.

Lorem ipsum dummy article shortcode: A seeded dummy article generator. This doesn’t only generates ‘Lorem Ipsum’ shortcode but also full HTML articles.

DNS Ipsum – Due North Studios Lorem Ipsum Generator: Adds Lorem Ipsum text using [dns-ipsum] shortcode and a TinyMCE button.

Lorem Ipsum and Place Holder Image Generator: A simple to use Lorem Ipsum generator.

Lorem Ipsum Replace Content: Replaces content with Lorem Ipsum, substitutes word for word.

Data Generator: Makes example posts, pages, custom terms, helps to style and develop new and current themes. It’s based on the Lolita framework.

Overview of all WordPress plugins for Lorem Ipsum generation.

Hatimeria Landing Pages: Creates landing pages with products using all combinations based on categories, attributes and their values. Description is supplied in the ackend (“lorem ipsum…”). Supports all features like CMS-Block, injecting widgets, blocks, or variables.

Google Docs
Lorem Generator: A plugin for Chrome browsers that allows designers and webmaster to generate Lorem Ipsum text from the sidebar without leaving Google Docs.

Drupal Ipsum: A helper module for generating dummy filler text. Presently it defines a new ipsum provider plugin manager service that allows for pluggable ipsum provider classes, making it easy to change existing implementations and also to add new ones.

Lorem ipsum: A simple filler text generator generator. Use your custom sentences and create some original Lorem ipsum.

Adobe Dreamweaver, a web development environment, has a plugin in form of a Dreamweaver object named Dreamweaver Text. It can be accessed both from the Objects menu via Common > Lorem Ipsum palette or using the Lorem Ipsum entry in the Insert > Technocurve Menu.

An alternative, possibly more versatile, is Lorem and More. It inserts dummy copy as paragraphs, lists, and regular text. Optionally available are extracts from a speech by Cicero, corporate nonsense, and a randomised sonnet by Shakespeare. Text may be inserted in code view and design view. The tool can be accessed via the Lorem and More icon on the Common tab of the Insert bar (MX) or the Common objects panel (DW4). Else, it’s accessible using the menu: Insert > Lorem and More.

It’s easy to insert dummy copy with the Scribus text editor. Select a text frame, then chose “Sample Text” from the context menu after right-clicking. Predefined dummy copy in any languages can be set by configuring an XML file and storing it in a subdirectory “/loremipsum” of your Scribus installation. >> screenshots
Lorem Ipsum plugins: editors
For notepad++, a Windows text editor, the InsertLoremIpsumNppPlugin can be downloaded at twenfour.com. It generates and inserts Lorem Ipsum, either as words, sentences, or paragraphs. The installation requires to copy the file InsertLoremIpsumNppPlugin.dll and the Config directory (both are contained in the zip file) to the “plugins” subdirectory of the Notepad++ installation directory. Afterwards, a new option “InsertLoremIpsum” will show in the “plugin” menu entry. A restart may be required. >> screenshots

ToolBucket: This plugin allows for base 64 encoding, it has a change indentation dialog, it generates Lorem Ipsum and has many more features.

Sublime Text
Insert lorem and press the tab key, this will insert a Lorem Ipsum paragraph. lorem200 + tab will add 200 words.

Lorem Ipsum generator: A plugin by Emmet, an toolkit for web-developers. After installation type lorem or lipsum, this will generate a 30-words dummy text, splitted into a few sentences. You can also use it inside repeated elements to create tags filled with completely random sentences. For example, p*4>lorem would generate 4 paragraphs with greeking text. ul.generic-list>lorem10.item*4 will generate an unordered list with the class name “generic-list” that contains 4 list items with ten words of Lorem Ipsum each.

LoremIpsum: A plugin for Sublime Editor 2 and 3 from billymoon hosted at github.​com. It allows to insert Lorem Ipsum in the editor via menu items or keyboard shortcuts. Select how much text you want from the menu item in Edit->Text->Lorem Ipsum or in the right click menu in Lorem Ipsum. Press the shortcut key (Alt+Shift+L) to add Lorem Ipsum text. Keep pressing to add more.

Geany: GeanyLipsum is a plugin for Windows and Linux. It inserts Lorem Ipsum copy with a length of 1 to 5,000 chars and provides a keyboard shortcut.
Do you know of other plugins? Please tell us.