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Adobe InDesign CC - Essential Training

How to add placeholder text & lorem ipsum & get a word count in InDesign

Daniel Walter Scott

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In this video we’re going to look at how to bring in Lorem Ipsum, or this place holder text, which is super useful when you don't have the copy yet, but you still need to work on the design. So let's go and do that.

First thing to get Lorem Ipsum is that-- I'm going to actually push this out of the way. Place holder text is what it's called in InDesign, most people call it Lorem Ipsum. I'm going to grab the 'Type' tool, I'm going to draw a 'Type Box' that goes from this margin all the way to this margin. And it's kind of half the page. And I'm going to go up to 'Type', 'Fill with Placeholder Text'. That my friends, is how you insert this kind of mixed up Latin words. They are actual Latin words, but they are jumbled up. From a distance they look like proper language. And why do we use them in InDesign? It's mainly because you probably don't have the text yet. You needed something in there to start picking fonts and styles. So often when I'm starting a project, at that very same time I copy and write all of this before starting a project, as I don't have the text yet. So I need to start styling it, and I'll switch it out later on.

The other times I'll do it is when I am , say, I'm pitching a design to a client, and it's a concept and I don't want them getting into the minutiae of doing copy changes. Say I just go and pick some random texts from their websites. I'll end up with meetings, and instead of them talking about the design and what they like about that, they end up picking holes in the type. They say, "Oh, you can't write that in there, or Latin there." It's hard to say, "Don't worry about the type, or the text, and its content," it's just the style that we're looking at.

So often Lorem Ipsum is the way to go to get started. Though I've had on many occasions people email me saying "I don't speak Latin." or that it's broken, and the fonts aren't loading, something's happening. You might want to just explain that you've used mixed up Latin when you send the concepts, especially if it's going over by email. Say you've designed it, and the copy writing is happening afterwards, what you can do is work out what the word count is. So check the work count, you have your cursor flashing, 'Type Tool', cursor flashing in here anywhere, go to 'Window' and go to 'Info'. And that should, after a second, tell you this is 347 words. So if you know 300 words can come in, you can delete a few and get it down to 300, or you can reach out to the copywriter, and say, you need to be writing to these numbers or you need to write 347, roughly. Which you can do if you've been told how many numbers. Instead of trying to delete and add to try and get this word count, lot of people will just jump out to a website called is an ugly site but it's really usable, people use this one all the time. If you're a designer, click on 'Words', say I need 500 words, and I'm going to click 'Generate Lorem Ipsum'. And that is exactly 500 words that I could use. I can copy and paste that into InDesign. Back to InDesign. So let's leave it there, and in the next videos we'll look at getting this into columns and bringing in text from say, Word documents. All right, bye bye.