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Lorem ipsum represents a long-held tradition for designers, typographers and the like. Some people hate it and argue for its demise, but others ignore the hate as they create awesome tools to help create filler text for everyone from bacon lovers to Charlie Sheen fans.

Today we’re going to briefly discuss why lorem ipsum and its brethren still have legitimate uses and then we’ll have some fun as we check out thirty great dummy content generators that you’ll definitely want to bookmark.

Is Lorem Ipsum Useful?

The obvious idea is to "start this article" off with a description of lorem ipsum and where it came from, but as designers we pretty much all get the idea: it’s filler text. Perhaps a more relevant topic of discussion is whether or not you should ever really use lorem ipsum in your work.

The question is an important one and something I’ve given a lot of thought to lately. There are plenty of people against it altogether. For instance, John McGarvey writes the following for .Net Magazine:

The argument that John makes is sound:

That designers shouldn’t be using dummy text in place of relevant content. I completely agree that designers should place content first! Start with content, then add structure, a logical progression of thought and aesthetic styling.
- John


That being said, saying that there’s absolutely no need for filler text is definitely shortsighted. From the small perspective that McGarvey frames the argument, he’s right. However, if we take a step back, we can see that there are still tons of possible and legitimate uses for lorem ipsum.

In a nice theoretical web design workflow, designers have complete control over content and the progression of the design. In the real world, those who pay designers demand mockups before providing content. Perhaps there’s a paragraph of legal copy that the designer needs to consider in the layout but won’t actually receive from the legal department until much further down the road. Or maybe the PHP guy needs to test his new page generating script simply to see if it works. There’s also the consideration of blog template designers, who do in fact need to design content containers that work for a variety of different purposes.


My point is, think twice about using filler content when you have the power to do otherwise but don’t hesitate to realize that there are legitimate situations where tossing in some placeholder copy won’t represent the utter destruction of the integrity of the design industry.

With that argument out of the way, we can get to the good stuff! Here are 30 awesome placeholder content generators.

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