Monday, June 27, 2011

No Text Stranded Before Its Time

Word 2007/2010 Line and Page Breaks Tab

This dialog allows you to deal with stranded words, headings, titles, paragraphs, and any other text elements you can think of. 

Reminder...you can use several methods to display this exact dialog. The difference is always whether you are making a global change (via a style) or a local change (via a menu or picking the Paragraph option from a pop-up menu when you right-click in text). 

Pagination: Widow/Orphan Protection (no stranded words)
As you are typing along and you get to the end of the page, you might find yourself with two or three words (or worse, one word) of a paragraph getting stranded at the top of the next page. Most style guides will tell you to move the last line on the previous page to the top of the following page so that you end up with two lines at the top of the following page.

When you click this option, Word does the task for you automatically. Widow and orphan protection is selected for most styles by default and there's no reason I can think of that I would not simply accept the default.

Pagination: Keep with Next (no stranded headings)
As you are typing along and you get to the end of the page, you might find yourself with a heading or a title appearing as the last line on the page. You don't need a style guide to tell you that you want the title at the top of the next page.

You can insert a page break before the title. Or, you can select this option for each style that is a heading or title. With the option selected, Word will move the heading/title automatically to the top of the next page when you press Enter. The advantage to using this option over simply inserting a page break is that if you add or remove text before this section, Word automatically adjusts and keeps the title with the paragraph, regardless of what you add or remove.

In addition, if you accept the default widow/orphan protection, you almost never have to deal with pagination issues because Word takes care of them for you.

Pagination: Keep Lines Together (no stranded lines in a paragraph)
As you are typing along and you get to the end of the page, you might find yourself with a paragraph with lines that should be kept together and moved to the top of the following page. I have found this option useful only on rare occasions. One time that does leap to mind is when I'm typing a copyright statement. The statement should always be one paragraph that stays together no matter what else is happening in the document.

Use caution when applying this option. Apply it too often and for too many styles, and you can paralyze and confuse Word so that you get some unexpected (unpleasant) results.


Pagination: Page break before 
I'm going to save this option for my next post. I'm dragging my feet on explaining page breaking while I think. The method you choose is dependent on where you are and what you are trying to accomplish. This option is one of those methods. I'm trying to make sure I remember every option and explain each so that you understand when to use a given method. 

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