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The Case of the Missing Placeholder Text Contest Answer and Winner

It’s time to reveal the solution—and the winner—for this month’s InDesignSecrets contest!

Here’s the scenario: 

You sit down to work at a colleague’s computer. You want to insert some placeholder text into an empty text frame. So you select that text frame with the Selection tool and choose Type > Fill With Placeholder Text.

But at first, it looks like nothing changed.

It’s only when you show hidden characters that you can see what happened. Instead of filling with visible text, the entire frame is filled with spaces.

When you make a new document and repeat the procedure you get the same result—all spaces and no words.

Why is the placeholder text composed of just spaces?

The answer is that (1) someone created a customized the placeholder text file, and (2) that text file contains only a space. InDesign will repeat the contents of the placeholder text file to fill the frame, which is why the space gets repeated.

You can use any text you want as placeholder text by putting it in a plain .TXT file and putting that file inside the InDesign application folder.

Just be sure you don’t leave the text file open, otherwise you might make some accidental edits that give you some strange results the next time you insert placeholder text. Hacking the placeholder text is also a classic prank to play on unsuspecting co-workers.

And the winner of this contest is…

David Courtemanche

David wins 3 months access to videos of any 2 days of CreativePro Week 2018.

Thanks to everyone who entered, and be on the lookout for another contest with a new great prize next month!

Mike Rankin

Mike Rankin

Editor in Chief of, InDesign Magazine, and Author of LinkedIn Learning courses on InDesign, Illustrator, GIMP, Inkscape, and Adobe Dimension.
Mike Rankin

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