Did you know … Microsoft Word can generate random text for you?

As I’ve been writing these “Did you know” blog posts, I’ve needed sample data to demonstrate how a function works. In Excel, that’s easy enough as there are RAND() and RANDBETWEEN(iLow,iHigh) functions. But how do you get sample text in Word? I used to just paste in part of a public domain work (as a cultural aside – the twenty years of copyright protection added under the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act are up this year, so the list of public domain works is expanding again). But what if you don’t have the original Anglo-Saxon Beowulf laying around?

Microsoft Word has a rand() function too – type =rand(#Paragraphs,#Sentences)

The example here generates two paragraphs that are five sentences each.

Hit enter – the formula is replaced with random text.

(This works in PowerPoint too). If you want some different text, try the lorem(#) function — the number in the parenthesis is the number of paragraphs — that uses the lorem ipsum paragraph as the content source.

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