Fill Space in Microsoft Word with Random Text

You may want to put some meaningless text into Microsoft Word to test a document, temporarily fill some space, or to see how some formatting looks. Word provides a quick and easy method of entering random text into your document.

To do this, position the cursor at the beginning of a blank paragraph. Type the following and press Enter. It doesn’t matter if you use lowercase, uppercase, or mixed case.

=rand()

Entering random function

In Word 2007, the =rand() text is replaced with 3 paragraphs of 3 sentences each consisting of helpful hints on how to change the appearance of your document.

Random text inserted into a document in Word 2007

In Word 2003, and earlier versions of Word, the =rand() text is replaced with 3 paragraphs of 5 sentences each consisting of the classic sampler sentence “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

Random text inserted into a document in Word 2003

You can vary the number of sentences per paragraph, as well as the number of paragraphs, by using the format =rand(p,s). Replace ‘p’ with the number of paragraphs you want, and ‘s’ with the number of sentences you want in each paragraph. For example, if you wanted 5 paragraphs of 6 sentences each, you would enter the following into a blank paragraph:

=rand(5,6)

You can leave out the sentence count parameter (‘s’), if desired, and Word will resort to the default number of sentences per paragraph.

Custom random text inserted into a document in Word 2003

If inserting random text doesn’t work for you in Word 2007, click the Office button and click the Word Options button at the bottom of the menu.

Selecting Word Options in Word 2007

On the Word Options dialog box, click Proofing in the left pane.

Clicking the Proofing option in Word Options

Click the AutoCorrect Options button.

AutoCorrect Options button

Word displays the AutoCorrect tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box. Make sure the Replace text as you type check box is checked.

Selecting the Replace text as you type option.

If you are using Word 2003 or an earlier version of Word and the random text insertion does not seem to work, select AutoCorrect Options from the Tools menu.

Selecting AutoCorrect Options from the Tools menu

On the AutoCorrect tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box, make sure the Replace text as you type check box is checked.

Selecting the Replace text as you type option in Word 2003

If you actually look through the AutoCorrect replacement text entries in the AutoCorrect dialog box, you will find nothing there about this random text feature. It seems to be a hidden feature of Word.

by Lori Kaufman

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