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Finally, a smarter alternative to lorem ipsum

Finally, a smarter alternative to lorem ipsum
[Image: courtesy Pete Bingham]

Lorem ipsum. To most of us, it’s a passage of meaningless Latin that fills websites or brochure layouts with text while waiting on writers to fill it with real copy. And in fact, lorem ipsum was designed as nonsense from the beginning. Its use rose to prominence as early as the 1500s, when an unknown printer created a test passage for a printing press by scrambling The Extremes of Good and Evil, written by Cicero in 45 B.C. And we’re still using the same old gibberish today.

[Image: courtesy Pete Bingham]
Designers at the digital agency Boom have imagined a better way. They’ve created a free text generator that replaces lorem ipsum with useful, topical prose that you can build in list or paragraph form, and in plain text or HTML. So if you’re creating a cooking site, you can generate text about hamburgers or tacos. And if you’re creating a political app, you can generate text about democracy or past presidents. It may not matter, but at the same time, if you’ve ever had to squint past the weird Latin to really focus on the layout of a design, you’ll appreciate the improved topical context.

[Image: courtesy Pete Bingham]

How does the system generate all this custom content? It actually skims Wikipedia pages related to your search, copy-and-pasting information and reformatting it just for you. That means it’s not the sort of text you’d ever want to claim as your company’s own. But then again, it’s perfect for creating a layout that’s not trapped in a two-millennia-old anachronism.

[Image: courtesy Pete Bingham]

If you’d like to try the generator for yourself, just head to this site. It costs nothing to use, and there’s no pesky login required, either.

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