Here's a Word trick you can use to entertain and amuse your family and friends.  OK, I'm overstating a bit; unless your family and friends are exceeding geeky, they're not going to be impressed.  But if you haven't seen it before, it might just surprise you.

Open Word.  It doesn't have to be the most recent version; I think this works all the way back to Word 97.  Got it open?

Now make a new blank document and type: =rand() and press Enter.  You should see a few paragraphs of filler text appear in your document.  In the US version of Word 2003, the text is "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog."  This is an example of a "pangram"--a sentence or phrase that contains all the letters of the alphabet.  The preferred version actually ends "over a lazy dog" because it's shorter and therefore more impressive.

The shortest pangram I'm aware of in English that doesn't use a proper name is "Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow." (29 letters.)  A few perfect, 26-letter pangrams exist, but they use dubious acronyms and proper names, such as "Glum Schwartzkopf vex'd by NJ IQ."

Different languages of Word use different text for rand().  I seem to recall one of the European languages includes a fairy tale, and a few versions use the historic but meaningless "lorem ipsum" text.

Word 12 responds to rand() with a long treatise on the AutoFormat feature from versions past.  I'm not sure why that change was made--probably because the new text is much longer and therefore more varied than repeating "quick brown fox" over and over again.

But wait, there's more.  You can use the advanced rand() syntax to control the length of the text.  Try: =rand(10,8) [enter].

Word inserts 10 paragraphs of 8 sentences each.  You can set the two numbers inside the parentheses to whatever values you like (up to 200.)

So why does this feature exist?  We use it extensively internally for testing purposes--it allows us to fill up a lot of pages quickly to try out various features to see how they're working.  Outside of Microsoft, teachers who train other people to use Word find it useful for the same reason, so we've left it in the product.

Believe it or not, this whole feature is documented in a Microsoft Knowledge Base article.