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Using lorem ipsum to focus attention on graphic elements in a webpage design proposal

In publishing and graphic design, lorem ipsum is a filler text commonly used to demonstrate the graphic elements of a document or visual presentation. Replacing meaningful content with placeholder text allows designers to design the form of the content before the content itself has been produced.[1]

The lorem ipsum text is typically a scrambled section of De finibus bonorum et malorum, a 1st-century BC Latin text by Cicero, with words altered, added, and removed to make it nonsensical, improper Latin.[2]

A variation of the ordinary lorem ipsum text has been used in typesetting since the 1960s or earlier, when it was popularized by advertisements for Letraset transfer sheets. It was introduced to the Information Age in the mid-1980s by Aldus Corporation, which employed it in graphics and word-processing templates for its desktop publishing program PageMaker.[3]


Example textEdit

A common form of lorem ipsum reads:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.


Page break in Rackham (Loeb) edition of Cicero De Finibus showing origin of lorem ipsum from hyphenation of dolorem ipsum

"Lorem ipsum" text is derived from sections 1.10.33 of Cicero's De finibus bonorum et malorum.[4]

It is not known exactly when the text obtained its current standard form; it may have been as late as the 1960s. Dr. Richard McClintock, a Latin scholar who was the publications director at Hampden–Sydney College in Virginia, discovered the source of the passage sometime before 1982 while searching for instances of the Latin word "consectetur", rarely used in classical literature.[5][a] The physical source of the Lorem Ipsum text may be the 1914 Loeb Classical Library Edition of the De Finibus, where the Latin text, presented on the even-numbered pages, breaks of on page 34 with "Neque porro quisquam est qui do-" and continues on page 36 with "lorem ipsum ...", suggesting that the galley type of that page 36 was mixed up to make the dummy text seen today.[7]

Latin sourceEdit

The original version (with the excerpted items highlighted) appears in the 1914 Loeb Classical Library Edition of the De Finibus, Book 1, sections 32–3:

[32] Sed ut perspiciatis, unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam eaque ipsa, quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt, explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem, quia voluptas sit, aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos, qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt, neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum, quia dolor sit amet consectetur adipisci[ng] velit, sed quia non numquam [do] eius modi tempora inci[di]dunt, ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem. Ut enim ad minima veniam, quis nostrum exercitationem ullam corporis suscipit laboriosam, nisi ut aliquid ex ea commodi consequatur? Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit, qui in ea voluptate velit esse, quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum, qui dolorem eum fugiat, quo voluptas nulla pariatur?

[33] At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus, qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti, quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint, obcaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa, qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio, cumque nihil impedit, quo minus id, quod maxime placeat, facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus. Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet, ut et voluptates repudiandae sint et molestiae non recusandae. Itaque earum rerum hic tenetur a sapiente delectus, ut aut reiciendis voluptatibus maiores alias consequatur aut perferendis doloribus asperiores repellat…

English translationEdit

This is H. Rackham's 1914 translation – in the aforementioned Loeb Classical Library edition – with the major source of lorem ipsum highlighted:

[32] But I must explain to you how all this mistaken idea of denouncing of a pleasure and praising pain was born and I will give you a complete account of the system, and expound the actual teachings of the great explorer of the truth, the master-builder of human happiness. No one rejects, dislikes, or avoids pleasure itself, because it is pleasure, but because those who do not know how to pursue pleasure rationally encounter consequences that are extremely painful. Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure. To take a trivial example, which of us ever undertakes laborious physical exercise, except to obtain some advantage from it? But who has any right to find fault with a man who chooses to enjoy a pleasure that has no annoying consequences, or one who avoids a pain that produces no resultant pleasure?

[33] On the other hand, we denounce with righteous indignation and dislike men who are so beguiled and demoralized by the charms of pleasure of the moment, so blinded by desire, that they cannot foresee the pain and trouble that are bound to ensue; and equal blame belongs to those who fail in their duty through weakness of will, which is the same as saying through shrinking from toil and pain. These cases are perfectly simple and easy to distinguish. In a free hour, when our power of choice is untrammeled and when nothing prevents our being able to do what we like best, every pleasure is to be welcomed and every pain avoided. But in certain circumstances and owing to the claims of duty or the obligations of business it will frequently occur that pleasures have to be repudiated and annoyances accepted. The wise man therefore always holds in these matters to this principle of selection: he rejects pleasures to secure other greater pleasures, or else he endures pains to avoid worse pains.


A lorem ipsum placeholder text was inadvertently published in The Straits Times, a Singapore newspaper, on 26 April 2014.

The earliest known occurrences of Lorem ipsum passages are on Letraset dry-transfer sheets from the early 1970s, which were produced to be used by graphic designers for filler text.[7][5]

A version of lorem ipsum was created in the mid-1980s for Aldus Corporation's desktop publishing program PageMaker.[5]

Nowadays a variety of software, including text and plug-ins, can generate semi-random "lorem-like text", which often has little or nothing in common with the canonical adaptations other than looking like (and often being) jumbled Latin. Apple's Pages and Keynote software employ such jumbled text as sample screenplay layout. Lorem ipsum is also featured on Joomla!, Google Docs, and WordPress web content managers. Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 have a lorem ipsum feature.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The information was first published early in 1994 in a letter to the editor of Before & After magazine in volume 4 issue 1 of the publication, contesting the editor's earlier claim that lorem ipsum had no meaning.[6]


  1. ^ "Professional lorem ipsum generator for typographers". generator.lorem-ipsum.info. Retrieved 2017-03-25. 
  2. ^ "Lorem Ipsum - All the facts - Lipsum generator". www.lipsum.com. Retrieved 2017-03-25. 
  3. ^ "Lorem Ipsum - All the facts - Lipsum generator". www.lipsum.com. Retrieved 2017-03-25. 
  4. ^ "Description of the "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet" text that appears in Word Help". Microsoft. Retrieved 2007-03-22. 
  5. ^ a b c Adams, Cecil (February 2001), What does the filler text "lorem ipsum" mean?, The Straight Dope 
  6. ^ Bray, Kurt (1995-10-05). "Subject: Re: Pig Latin Dialects". Georgetown University. 
  7. ^ a b Cibois, Philippe (2012-06-03). "Lorem ipsum: nouvel état de la question". L'intelligence du monde. L'Institut français. Retrieved 2017-04-07. 
  8. ^ "How to insert sample text into a document in Word". Microsoft Support. September 18, 2011. Retrieved November 14, 2011. 

External linksEdit