Someone showed me this trick the other day, and I just had to pass it along.

If you ever have had to create placeholder sentences in Microsoft Word 2007, say to show the layout of a newsletter that isn't written yet, you might be tempted to just hit some random keys until you get enough text to fill the space you're trying to illustrate.

But there's an easier way. Just type this line at the start of a new paragraph and then hit Enter:

=rand()

Assuming you haven't turned off the AutoCorrect Replace text as you type capability, you should see that randomizer statement replaced by three paragraphs, each containing three sentences. (Note: This is different from the AutoFormat feature we recently examined.)

If you need to fill more or less space, you can add parameters. For instance:

=rand(1,1) will give you one sentence.

=rand(10, 4) delivers 10 paragraphs, each with four sentences.

Bonus: This works in PowerPoint 2007 as well.

Suzanne