Side Projects : easyASCII & Super Simple Lorem Ipsum

The past few months I’ve been coding more than usual and discovered there were certain development tools I felt were lacking, specifically ASCII code lists and Lorem Ipsum generators. I try to save as much time as possible while working to spend more time not working, and the more ridiculous a resource is, the more likely I am not to use it. To combat my frustration, I decided to work on two side projects that would make my work life easier, and maybe the work lives of my fellow design friends or anyone else who comes across them.

easyASCII.com  supersimpleloremipsum.com

easyASCII

ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) codes are used in web development for special characters and symbols such as : © € ❝ ã ½. Each character or symbol has a numerical code, and some even have a descriptive code, for example : &nbsp stands for non-breaking space. Using an ASCII code ensures that browsers will read a character or symbol correctly, allows for greater accuracy when writing copy, and certain symbols, like ★ ☮ ♫ ☀, can be used to add some fun to Twitter or Facebook posts. I like to think of ASCII codes as the original Emoji’s!

© € ❝ ã ½ ★ ☮ ♫ ☀

If you Google ASCII code list, there’s no shortage of results, but the majority of resources provide sparse offerings and lack polish. I use ASCII codes often and wanted a clean, well-organized, and complete list that was pleasing to the eye and easy to use. So I decided to make one : easyASCII.com. It took a solid four days to gather the codes, organize them into categories, and develop the site, but I think it was time well spent. Chad and Jason have even used it for projects we’re working on ☺.

Super Simple Lorem Ipsum

Another resource I use often is Lorem Ipsum (filler) text. There’s a plethora of Lorem Ipsum generators out there, but they can be silly, filled with superfluous information, or just hard to use. Cat Ipsum and Hipster Ipsum are cute and fun, but all I want is original Latin text that I can copy and paste in two seconds.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Praesent eget risus vitae massa semper aliquam quis mattis quam. 

The Lorem Ipsum site I’ve been using the past couple years has a font-size of about 10px and was just a blob of sentences, so I spent about 25 minutes creating Super Simple Lorem Ipsum. It’s three paragraphs in a comfortable font-size, with generous leading, that’s easy to copy and paste. Take a sentence, take a paragraph, it’s there when you need it without any bells or whistles.

I had a lot of fun creating these two little sites, and I hope others find them useful. Remember : if you don’t like how something is done, you can try to do it yourself!

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