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Random thoughts about creating random text

March 8, 2013

Many thanks to the incredible Diane McKeever with her 100 Computer Tips in 100 Days blog.  I’ve used this function many times and find it very useful in my classes or when I’m doing design work.

If you ever need  to generate random text (or you’re teaching classes to keyboard impaired students), you can have them generate random text (for pagination/margins, etc.) in a few keystrokes.  

The programmers at Microsoft often need to generate random text to test software so they built in a secret macro that will produce a specific number of sentences and paragraphs made up of real words, not computer Latin words. Try this out in your Microsoft Word program.

 

Open a document in Word and type the following then press the enter key (return in Apple world):

=rand(5,7)

Presto, the code you typed changed to five paragraphs each containing seven sentences. Keep in mind that the five and seven could be any two numbers depending on how much random text you need. So the next time you need to demonstrate something in Word to a colleague and you need some text to use, remember the code. It’s pretty easy if you keep in mind that rand stands for random.

If you would rather have Latin words rather than distracting English words, you can do that too. Type =lorem(5,7) in your document and then press the enter (return) key and it’s replaced with Latin text. Remember the five and seven can be any numbers you choose.

You can use this tip when you’re trying to show coworkers some special word thing and need to have some text to practice on. 

 

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From → InDesign, PC tips

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