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Chapter 4. Quick and Effective Formattin... > Controlling How Paragraphs Break Bet...

Controlling How Paragraphs Break Between Pages

In documents, a widow is the last line of a paragraph that appears by itself at the top of a page. An orphan is the first line of a paragraph left to fend for itself at the bottom of a page. To readers, a widow or an orphan can easily be confused with a subhead. For years, typographers and graphic designers have done everything possible to eliminate widows and orphans.

You rarely see a widow or an orphan in a Word document, because Word includes a feature called Widow/Orphan control. If Word encounters a paragraph that will be split at the bottom of the page, separating one line from all the rest, Word automatically makes sure that the entire paragraph prints together. For example, it moves the potentially orphaned line to the top of the next page with the rest of its “family.”


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