What “Lorem Ipsum Dolor” Actually Means

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Wondering just what is “lorem ipsum dolor” and why you see it all over the web? What does “lorem ipsum dolor” actually mean? Think that it’s Latin? A secret code? Here’s the actual secret!

First and foremost, most lorem ipsum text, or, as it’s more commonly referred to, “lorem text”, is basically just gibberish. Oh sure, it looks like it must mean something, but it’s gibberish just the same. It’s used as filler text, and, in the context of the web, it’s used when a new website or web design is being brought online, to show how it will look once completed and in use. And that is why you see it all over the web – because it’s the generally accepted filler text that everyone uses.

lorem-ipsum

Now, that said, it’s gibberish with its roots in real language – in fact, in a classic piece of literature. Most modern-day lorem text evolved from the classic work of the Roman philosopher, Cicero, De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum.

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There is some debate as to just how the lorem ipsum text evolved and, indeed, how poor Cicero’s classic text came to be relegated to “filler”, but most agree that the version of the lorem text most widely used today first appeared as the default filler text for templates in the desktop publishing program Aldus PageMaker.

So, when you see lorem text on a public site, what that “lorem ipsum dolor” really means is “Oops, we forgot to remove the filler text and put the real text here before publishing this page.”

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2 thoughts on “What “Lorem Ipsum Dolor” Actually Means

  1. I use lorum text frequently. I find this interesting to know – it is gibberish and not Latin. My primary work station is a Mac. There is a great little widget for Mac that generates this text in a number of formats. Disclosure, I have nothing to do with the company that makes this widget. You can get it from g-design.net

  2. In MS Word 2007, you can add your own Lorem text using =lorem(). If you want a certain number of lines and paragraphs, you can modify it to =lorem(5,3).

    More on this MS page, http://support.microsoft.com/kb/212251.

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