In publishing and graphic design, lorem ipsum[p][1][2] is the name given to commonly used placeholder text (filler text) to demonstrate the graphic elements of a document or visual presentation, such as font, typography, and layout. The lorem ipsum text, which is typically a nonsensical list of semi-Latin words, is a hacked version of a Latin text by Cicero, with words/letters omitted and others inserted, but not proper Latin[1][2] (see below: History and discovery). The closest English translation would be "pain itself" (dolorem = pain, grief, misery, suffering; ipsum = itself).

Even though using "lorem ipsum" often arouses curiosity because of its resemblance to classical Latin, it is not intended to have meaning. Where text is visible in a document, people tend to focus on the textual content rather than upon overall presentation, so publishers use lorem ipsum when displaying a typeface or design elements and page layout in order to direct the focus to the publication style and not the meaning of the text.[2]

The text is derived from sections 1.10.32-33 of Cicero's De finibus bonorum et malorum (On the Ends of Goods and Evils, or alternatively [About] The Purposes of Good and Evil ).[3] The original passage began: Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit (Translation: "Neither is there anyone who loves grief itself since it is grief and thus wants to obtain it"). It is not known exactly when the text acquired its current standard form; it may have been as late as the 1960s. The passage was discovered by Richard McClintock, a Latin scholar who is the publications director at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, by searching for citings of the rarely used Latin word "consectetur" in classical literature.[1][2]

Many variations on the standard lorem ipsum text exist, some with little resemblance to the original.[2] Other versions have additional letters — such as k, w, and z — that were uncommon or missing in the Latin language, and nonsense words such as Z.zril, takimata, and gubergren added to the original passage to achieve a distribution of letters that more closely approximates English.