Two nifty tools for freelance writers

Even though I’ve been writing for years, I often have trouble visualizing how long a story needs to be. Because editors—unlike Harry Potter’s Hogwarts professors who assign homework in parchment inches—tend to assign numbers of words, I’ve started using this nifty lorem ipsum generator to get an idea of how many pages of writing I need to do.

Graphic artists and typsetters have been using lorem ipsum placeholder text for years— according to the generator site, since the 1500s—and it regained popularity in the 1960s. Today, programs like In Design allow you to autofill text boxes with it, so you can see the layout without having to compose actual text. So if you need a more visual placeholder than “TK“—industry parlance for “to come”—or the “XXXX” and “Blah Blah Blah” one of my old bosses used to pepper her reports with, then lorem ipsum will serve you well.

When editors point out an online article they’d like me to model, but don’t assign a word count, I’ll copy and paste it into the text into this word count tool to get an idea of how many words I should be shooting for. Line and paragraph breaks vary greatly, depending on in-house style, so instead of guestimating I just plug the text into this tool for an accurate count.

Featured image by pkwahme
Photo by bburky

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I'm a smart, sassy, globally-mobile freelance writer, content creator, brand journalist and nonprofit storyteller. The world is my office. Email me to find out more.
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