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Hi everyone. My name is Leslie Cole and I write help content for Word. This is my first blog entry, and it was prompted by a number of customer questions about the subject of widows and orphans. Let me know if I answered your question; I look forward to hearing from you.
Many Word customers are concerned with the fate of widows and orphans—both the human and document-related ones.
Document-related widows and orphans are the first or last lines of a paragraph that end up all by themselves at the bottom or the top of a page.
Some print document diehards think that widows and orphans are unsightly, and they might even encourage you to remove them from your document.
You'll be relieved to know that the widows and orphans control in Word 2007 and earlier versions is "on" by default. You should never see a widow or an orphan in a Word document unless you unchecked the widow and orphan control for some reason.
You can find the check box by clicking the Home tab and then clicking the dialog box launcher in the lower right corner of the Paragraph group. Click the Line and Page Breaks tab in the Paragraph dialog box to find the control.
Now, save your concerns for the real widows and orphans.
Have you given any thought to instituting widow/orphan control for tables? I often enable "repeat as header row at top of each page" so that tables, when broken across pages, are easy to interpret. Unfortunately, that means Word often breaks tables AT the header, leaving a stranded header at the bottom of a page (in addition to the repeated header at the top of the next page.) E.G.: HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC H=repeating header line
-=automatic page break
A,B,C=table rows What should happen instead is this: ----------------------
I agree with Francis - in fact, I don't even think it should be an option for tables - why would anyone want to see an orphaned table header?
Good point. It's annoying always having to choose "Keep together" for the H-row and the A-Row to workaround those table header orphans.
I'm fresh-in from rerecoding conversion-to-rtf: \widowctrl is not working.... It always used-to work.... 1. It's not breaking object-paragraphs across auto-page boundaries (paragraphs within posx). 2. It's not-even widow-controlling plain (after replacing posx objects by doubly-computed \li). 3. And a search on MSDN2 found only a few.... Ray.
Interesting comments. However, widow/orphan control was turned off by default with my version of Office 2007. And then turning it on as outlined only applies to the current paragraph, or selected paragraphs. There should be a setting to apply to the whole document.
Thanks for mentioning the Keep Together option. I use tables that have one row with several cells followed by a row with merged cells where I paste screenshots. I normally have an empty set of upper and lower rows built in advance, so it was an easy change for me to assign Keep with Next to each of my upper rows. No more adding spaces above and below images to make the next pair of rows jump to the next page. Now, can anyone give me some advice on how to auto number every other table row? Dan
Please excuse my ignorance, but for a manuscript (Word text doc) to be submitted to a book pulisher, should I check/uncheck the widows, orphans control? I seemed to get the impression at a recent conference that I should uncheck/disable it. ?? Thanks much.
I have my widows and orphans checked, but I'm still getting single lines at bottom and top of a long document. Any other ideas?