Adhesion Text for Testing Type

Written by Ben Kiel on May 5, 2005

Miguel Sousa, an MA student at the University of Reading, has created a new online tool to generate dummy text from a limited character set. Adhesion Text generates Unicode compliant text in Catalan, English, French, Greek, Portuguese, and Spanish. From the site:

Why “adhesiontext”?

adhesion is the initial character set used in the MA Typeface Design program, from The University of Reading (UK), which inspired the development of this text tool.

Useful when needing to test a type design with only a limited character set.

Ben Kiel is a typeface designer and educator. He co-owns the independent foundry XYZ Type with Jesse Ragan. Previously he was a typeface designer at House Industries. He teaches at Washington University in Saint Louis and the Type@Cooper program in New York City.


  1. Dan Reynolds says:

    Ben, Miguel, this looks like a great little tool. Wow! Thanks for making it public.

    I have a question for you, or for anyone else who is listening: at the moment, I need to judge the color of numbers in a font. Just the numbers. Is there any tool that will create a large, random sampling of numbers (like one long number string, that would run along for the same length as a typical paragraph)?

    That would make my day today.

  2. Ben Kiel says:

    I’d google ‘pi’ and use the largest value you can find for it. It’ll go for more than a paragraph and be ‘random’ enough.

  3. ben kiel says:

    oh, and I should make clear that adhesiontext is the work of Miguel solely. i’m just publicizing it.

  4. Dan Reynolds says:

    Well, good work publicizing it then, Ben. Marketers need love too.

  5. Dan Reynolds says:

    Thanks for the pi tip. That worked out well. I got three pages of dummy numbers. More than enough.

    Sorry for the excessive posting. I’ve got a big case of typophile withdrawl.

  6. I’ve been trying to visit the Adhesion Text site since this item was posted, but all I get are messages from my browser saying that the server can’t be found.

  7. Miguel Sousa says:

    That’s strange because the domain has been registered a couple of months ago, so DNS propagation might not be the issue here. ( )

    Please try this direct link to the page and see if it works

    Is anyone else experiencing the same problem?

  8. I just tried it and now it’s working. Never mind.

    Pretty cool. It’s interesting to use only characters that have no ascenders or descenders, or only rounds or straights, or whatever. It really changes the texture. If you use a string such as “acemnorsuvwxz” (with capitalization and punctuation, English), it looks sort of like Cyrillic.

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