Daily Archives: November 8, 2006 7:00 am

How to create dummy text in Word

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There’s a nifty little trick in Microsoft Word which enables you to generate paragraphs of dummy text using the sentence ‘The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog’. In a blank document you type

=rand(#,#)

(where the first # is the number of paragraphs you want, and the second number is the number of sentences you want in each paragraph)

and then hit the ‘Return’ (Enter) key.

Thus,
=rand(5,8) returns five paragraphs with eight sentences in. As the sentence Word produces has 9 words in, this will return a total of 5*8*9=360 words.

I use this every time I have a writing deadline to meet with a stipulated word count, because it helps me to block out paragraphs. If you’ve got 400 words on a particular subject, you can see just how much that looks like on paper, and type rough headings for each of the paragraphs before you start, if you’re feeling really organised and inspired. Also very useful for essays, because it gives you a graphic display of how much work you’ve got left to do before you can safely go to the pub.