Lorem Ipsum Generator

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Origins of Lorem Ipsum

Lorem Ipsum began as scrambled, nonsensical Latin derived from Cicero's 1st-century BC text De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum.

Engraving of Marcus Tullius Cicero

Cicero

Hedonist Roots

The classic “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet…” passage is attributed to a remixing of the Roman philosopher Cicero's 45 BC text De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum (“On the Extremes of Good and Evil”). More specifically, the passage is thought to originate from sections 1.10.32 – 33 of his text, with the most notable portion excerpted below:

“Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem.”

A 1914 English translation by Harris Rackham reads:

“Nor is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure.”

According to Latin professor Richard McClintock — the man credited with discovering Lorem Ipsum's roots — it is likely that sometime during the middle ages a typesetter scrambled part of Cicero's De Finibus in order to provide placeholder text to mockup various fonts for a type specimen book. But that was just the beginning.

Lorem Ipsum in the 1960s

Letraset, a French lettering company, popularized the Lorem Ipsum passage in the 1960s with their dry-transfer sheets.

Letraset Transfer Sheets with Lorem Ipsum

Letraset Transfer Sheets

Lorem Ipsum in the News

Five centuries later Lorem Ipsum experienced a surge in popularity with the release of Letraset's dry-transfer sheets. These sheets of lettering could be rubbed on anywhere and were quickly adopted by graphic artists, printers, architects, and advertisers for their professional look and ease of use. Letraset included Lorem Ipsum passages in a panoply of fonts, styles, and sizes, solidifying the Latin-esque phrase's place in the print and graphics industry. Those with an eye for detail will have even caught a tribute to the classic text in an episode of Mad Men (S6E1 around 1:18:55 for anyone that didn't).

Lorem Ipsum Today

The passage continues to see frequent usage, with Lorem Ipsum text appearing often in print, graphic and web designs.

Lorem Ipsum in Word Processing Software

Word Processing Software

From Print to Desktop to Web

Aldus Corporation, which later merged with Adobe Systems, helped bring Lorem Ipsum into the information age with its 1985 flagship software Aldus PageMaker. The program came bundled with Lorem Ipsum dummy text to help with laying out page content, and other word processors like Microsoft Word followed suit. More recently the growth of web design has helped proliferate Lorem Ipsum across the internet as a placeholder for laying out websites and blogs– and in some cases the final content (don't let that be you!).

Original Lorem Ipsum Text

Here are the original Latin passages from which Lorem Ipsum was derived, paired with their 1914 translations by H. Rackham.

Cicero's De finibus bonorum et malorum

Cicero's De finibus opening page

Section 1.10.32 of Cicero's “De finibus bonorum et malorum”

Original Latin text:

“Sed ut perspiciatis, unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam eaque ipsa, quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt, explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem, quia voluptas sit, aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos, qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt, neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum, quia dolor sit amet consectetur adipisci[ng] velit, sed quia non numquam [do] eius modi tempora inci[di]dunt, ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem. Ut enim ad minima veniam, quis nostrum exercitationem ullam corporis suscipit laboriosam, nisi ut aliquid ex ea commodi consequatur? Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit, qui in ea voluptate velit esse, quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum, qui dolorem eum fugiat, quo voluptas nulla pariatur?”

Translation by H. Rackham:

“But I must explain to you how all this mistaken idea of denouncing of a pleasure and praising pain was born and I will give you a complete account of the system, and expound the actual teachings of the great explorer of the truth, the master-builder of human happiness. No one rejects, dislikes, or avoids pleasure itself, because it is pleasure, but because those who do not know how to pursue pleasure rationally encounter consequences that are extremely painful. Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure. To take a trivial example, which of us ever undertakes laborious physical exercise, except to obtain some advantage from it? But who has any right to find fault with a man who chooses to enjoy a pleasure that has no annoying consequences, or one who avoids a pain that produces no resultant pleasure?”

Section 1.10.33 of Cicero's “De finibus bonorum et malorum”

Original Latin text:

“At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus, qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti, quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint, obcaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa, qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio, cumque nihil impedit, quo minus id, quod maxime placeat, facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus. Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet, ut et voluptates repudiandae sint et molestiae non recusandae. Itaque earum rerum hic tenetur a sapiente delectus, ut aut reiciendis voluptatibus maiores alias consequatur aut perferendis doloribus asperiores repellat…”

Translation by H. Rackham:

“On the other hand, we denounce with righteous indignation and dislike men who are so beguiled and demoralized by the charms of pleasure of the moment, so blinded by desire, that they cannot foresee the pain and trouble that are bound to ensue; and equal blame belongs to those who fail in their duty through weakness of will, which is the same as saying through shrinking from toil and pain. These cases are perfectly simple and easy to distinguish. In a free hour, when our power of choice is untrammeled and when nothing prevents our being able to do what we like best, every pleasure is to be welcomed and every pain avoided. But in certain circumstances and owing to the claims of duty or the obligations of business it will frequently occur that pleasures have to be repudiated and annoyances accepted. The wise man therefore always holds in these matters to this principle of selection: he rejects pleasures to secure other greater pleasures, or else he endures pains to avoid worse pains.”