Subject: Re: Some basic questions around word processing
From: Randy Kramer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri May 05 2000 - 15:18:21 CDT
Widows and Orphans relate to how to split a paragraph between two pages
when there is space for a paragraph to start near the bottom of one
page but not enough space to fit the entire paragraph on that page.
Years ago, in american typing classes, it was taught that a paragraph
should always have at least two lines on a page. In other words:
If a paragraph is 4 lines or longer, it is OK to split it so that at
least two lines are at the bottom of one page and at least two lines are
at the top of the next page.
If the paragraph is split so that one line is at the bottom of one page
and the remainder on the next page, the one line is called a "widow".
If the paragraph is split so that most of the paragraph is on one page
but one line is on the next page, the one line is called an "orphan".
If a paragraph is three lines or less, it should not be split between
pages but be completely on one page. If there is not enough space, the
entire paragraph is moved to the next page.
Widow and Orphan control will automaticaly move lines of paragraphs
between pages to comply with these rules.
"Keep with next" is somewhat similar, but relates more to (outline)
headings, which, in Word, are treated as separate paragraphs. In an
outline like the following:
I. Major Heading
a. Minor Heading
First paragraph of text
Second paragraph of text
II. Next Major Heading
It is desirable that the Major Heading, the Minor Heading, and the First
paragraph of text be kept together on one page. This can be
accomplished (in Word) by specifying that the styles for the Major
Heading and Minor Heading each specify "keep with next".
Hope this helps!
Decsi Tamas wrote:
> I was always wandering what do "orphans" and "widows" mean in a
> word-processor's context. It would be great if someone could explain these
> topics (and other topics around paragraph formatting, like "keep with
> next", etc. as well) to me.
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