Be careful with your placeholder text

Using placeholder (or “dummy”) text when your final copy is not ready, or when you’re creating a template, can be a good way to get the design process moving and make sure you allow adequate room for the text destined to fill a space.

But there is potential for disaster when using placeholder text, as evidenced by this screenshot from an e-mail promotion I received today from Flight Centre.

oops.jpg

The printing industry has, for hundreds of years, had a standard set of dummy text, known as Lorem Ipsum. It’s a chunk of scrambled Latin text that is best to use when you need a placeholder. Why?

Well, first, if you are trying to determine whether you’ve got a good design, it’s much easier to tell what it will really look like when you insert your finished text if you are using varied letters and word lengths rather than repeated words.

But what’s most important is that when you do your final spell-check (you *do* do a final spell check, don’t you?) the made-up words that form the Lorem Ipsum text will be flagged if you’ve forgetten to replace them with your finished content — so you won’t send out an e-mail promotion like the one above. 

Here are the first two paragraphs of the standard Lorem Ipsum text:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse arcu sem, bibendum vel condimentum eget, posuere a tellus. Aenean non arcu lorem. Fusce ut dolor erat. Cras posuere, mi eu convallis facilisis, tellus turpis molestie lacus, vitae tempor magna felis a erat. Etiam sollicitudin aliquet dapibus. Cras euismod urna in purus semper condimentum. Pellentesque malesuada porttitor odio, ac mollis nisi consequat eget. In in nisl neque. Integer vel consectetur quam. Nunc quam libero, accumsan in placerat at, lacinia feugiat arcu. Aenean convallis lobortis justo, vel scelerisque nibh consectetur a. Maecenas eu gravida nisi. Praesent sed magna dui, sed cursus magna. Donec euismod, neque at dignissim cursus, arcu libero egestas ante, a egestas augue lorem eget arcu. Phasellus vel nibh non tellus porta fringilla eget quis urna. Morbi vitae est sem. Sed sodales tristique nisl, vel rhoncus orci placerat mollis. Curabitur posuere nibh ligula, sed iaculis massa.

Pellentesque libero tortor, laoreet ac vestibulum et, placerat vel nisi. Etiam ultrices faucibus gravida. Praesent porttitor interdum tempus. Morbi lacinia massa sed nunc iaculis in mattis ante consectetur. Phasellus eu felis massa. Maecenas ac dolor dui, sed dapibus sem. Fusce velit nulla, iaculis ut consectetur non, facilisis non quam. Praesent in orci dui. Vestibulum at adipiscing mi. Sed tortor lectus, porttitor et congue vel, eleifend nec mauris. Suspendisse potenti. Curabitur placerat porta vehicula. Nam non purus justo. Praesent hendrerit lacinia pulvinar. Nunc venenatis sapien et dolor adipiscing et tempus magna viverra. Integer porta pellentesque magna, vel feugiat odio aliquam sed. Cras facilisis, lectus vitae elementum iaculis, dui odio gravida elit, at auctor urna libero eget mi. Cras vel quam vitae velit iaculis aliquam. Aliquam non volutpat nulla. Nulla non ligula massa.  

If you need more, there’s a Lorem Ipsum generator online at www.lipsum.com.