The Rapid Elearning Blog

lorem ipsum

Adding placeholder text is one of those tasks that we do a lot when building our course screen layouts or templates. It helps us make sure things are looking right before we spent too much time building out the real content.

In today’s post I’ll share three easy ways to add placeholder text to your elearning courses.

Use the Built-in Lorem Ipsum Generator

PowerPoint, Articulate Studio, and Storyline offer built-in lorem ipsum generators so that it’s really easy to add some placeholder content. Here are the steps:

  • Add a text box
  • Type in =lorem() 
  • Hit enter

That will create a good amount of random placeholder text. However, it may be more than you need. That’s OK because you have some flexibility.

lorem ipsum

You can add numbers inside the parenthesis to control how many paragraphs and sentences are presented. For example, =lorem(2,1) will give you two paragraphs with one sentence each.

Here’s a tutorial that shows how to create random text in PowerPoint. The process is exactly the same in Storyline, but you use lorem instead of rand.

Use an Online Lorem Ipsum Generator

There are a lot of online lorem ipsum generators. Just do a search and you’ll find more than you need. I like the ones where you can generate placeholder text in other languages, too. This is another good one because you can set word count and choose Kafka text which is perfect for bureaucratic, compliance training. It may even be possible to use nothing but Kafka for your real training and have no one notice.

If all you need is lorem ipsum text, then the built-in tools are fine. Why go to a website to find something you already get in the elearning applications? However, some people don’t like the lorem ipsum text and want real readable text. Or they don’t like the fact that the lorem ipsum text doesn’t get past the spellchecker.

lorem ipsum

That’s OK, too, because there are sites that create random text that is also legible. And some of them are funny. Here are a few:

Use a Lorem Ipsum Browser Extension

Why go to a website to get your placeholder text? Why not just grab some from right within your browser? There are a number of browser extensions that offer quick lorem ipsum text. Just click on the extension and copy and paste your placeholder text.

lorem ipsum

Here are a few that I’ve used in Chrome. I’m sure that the other browsers have something similar.

As you can see, there are more than enough ways to generate fake text and with the amount you need for your slides. And of course, make sure that you let your subject matter expert know it’s fake text so that they don’t ask why you localized the course before getting final approval.


Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for e-learning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly e-learning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool e-learning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This e-learning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

8 responses to “3 Ways to Get Placeholder Text for Your E-Learning Courses”

A few years ago my e-learning production company sent some mockups with lorem ipsum to a client. They were really pissed because they thought this is in Romanian or some other “weird Eastern European language” and also assumed that we outsource their production to one of these countries. And that we are so sloppy that we didn’t even delete our “Romanian” text. I guess the moral of the story is, don’t use lorem ipsum unless you are certain your customer or SMEs will interpret it correctly.

Great article and resources, Tom! I love the humorous ipsums! 🙂 Thank you!

Great article Tom, thanks for sharing. I have installed the chrome browser, it will come in handy!

This entry is one of the reasons that your blog is indispensable – the Corporate Ipsum almost made me snort coffee through my nose from laughing!

September 13th, 2016

@Sergey: I actually had a community member email me once complain that the textin the template was in a foreign language and she needed an English version. 🙂

BACON Lorem Ipsum. My day is done. Thank you!!

September 22nd, 2016

BIG help Tom! THANKS