DTP


 
Lively discussions on the graphic arts and publishing — in print or on the web


Go Back   Desktop Publishing Forum > General Discussions > Print Design

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-20-2021, 10:46 PM   #1
woody649
Member
 
woody649's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 310
Default Widows and orphans

I have a sense that most of the members of this site are seasoned professionals, whereas I'm an amateur who has been away from DTP for a couple of decades, and who is now finding his way back into it. And the way is fraught with obstacles.

The obstacle du jour is: What to do about widows and orphans. In fact, it's dealing with them that has spurred me to investigate newer/better DTP software (which I have touched on in other posts/threads). I have been doing some research, which was initiated by the realization that books I have on my desk allow both widows and orphans. That was a bit of a shock to me, because I remembered from days gone by that widows and orphans were to be zealously avoided.

So the question is: What do you all do about widows and orphans? What's more important to you, aligning the text blocks top and bottom on facing pages, or avoiding widows and orphans and possibly having the bottoms of facing pages misaligned?

Thanks.
woody649 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2021, 11:24 AM   #2
Steve Rindsberg
Staff
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,571
Default

As a non-professional who appreciates the work of the real pros, I find widows/orphans quite jarring and would much rather see a line or two different at the bottom of facing pages.

   
__________________
Steve Rindsberg
====================
www.pptfaq.com
www.pptools.com
and stuff
Steve Rindsberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2021, 06:02 PM   #3
Andrew B.
Staff
 
Andrew B.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 4,276
Default

I gather from your other posts that you are using Word. Doesn't that have widow and orphan control.

   
__________________
fallberry.com
Andrew B. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2021, 11:23 PM   #4
woody649
Member
 
woody649's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 310
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew B. View Post
I gather from your other posts that you are using Word. Doesn't that have widow and orphan control.
It does. And therein lies the problem. But the problem may also occur in higher end DTP and page layout programs, too.

What happens with widow and orphan protection turned on is that Word doesn't allow a single line at the bottom of a page or at the top of a page. Either way, it kicks at least one line from one page to the next. If the facing page doesn't have a widow (or an orphan on the page after that), one of two facing pages has fewer lines than the other, and the bottoms of the text blocks don't align.

It's easy enough to overlook that and just call it good, but it's not really right. One work-around is to adjust the line spacing on one of the two pages, but then the lines don't all match up across the two pages -- and they're supposed to.

That's the conundrum that led to my question? Which is more important, keeping the lines aligned across pages, or avoiding windows and orphans? Is there a way to do both? If so -- what's the secret?

I'm looking at one novel on my desk (paperback, and pretty much a mass market edition) that allows orphans (but apparently not widows), but also doesn't have the same number of lines on each page. Facing pages have the same number of lines, but there are numerous instances throughout the book where one pair of pages has one line fewer than the pair of pages before or after it.
woody649 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2021, 06:52 AM   #5
Andrew B.
Staff
 
Andrew B.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 4,276
Default

I tend to look at this as readability. Having widows and orphans tend to throw off my concentration as I'm reading. They are jarring. Having one less line on a facing page only bothers me if I'm focused on the symmetry of the design. I don't notice this if I'm focused on reading.

   
__________________
fallberry.com
Andrew B. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2021, 05:56 AM   #6
Steve Rindsberg
Staff
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,571
Default

I'm with you, Andrew.

And given the laws of the space/time continuum, I don't see any way to both prevent widows/orphans AND match lines from one page to the next.

   
__________________
Steve Rindsberg
====================
www.pptfaq.com
www.pptools.com
and stuff
Steve Rindsberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2021, 10:27 AM   #7
Bo Aakerstrom
Member
 
Bo Aakerstrom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Derby,UK
Posts: 1,505
Default

You could perhaps do it manually, but likely not worth the time it would take. Go for readability!

   
__________________
www.boaakerstrom.com
Behance Portfolio
Bo Aakerstrom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2021, 11:30 AM   #8
woody649
Member
 
woody649's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 310
Default

I think I found my answer -- but it means work:

http://birdsbeforethestorm.net/2010/...n-book-design/

I guess it boils down to how professional the self-publisher wants his/her book to appear.

Working in Microsoft Word, I can apply the same "tracking" approach that's described in the article. In Word, it's found under Format > Font in the old, menu toolbar system; I'm not sure where to find it with the horrible new "ribbon" menu system. Once into Format > Font, there's a tab for Advanced, and that's where you can adjust character spacing, which I guess is tracking. Expanding or contracting the character spacing by 0.1 points can fix many of those widow and orphan problems. (It seems to work better on longer paragraphs.)

Last edited by woody649; 03-29-2021 at 11:54 AM.
woody649 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2021, 07:46 PM   #9
Steve Rindsberg
Staff
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,571
Default

Ah, I like this idea.

OK, the controls you're looking for are on the Home tab. Look at the lower right corner of the Font group and you'll find an arrow that points down and to the right. Little teeny fella. Click that then choose Advanced and you'll find the controls you're after.

While you're at it, click the dinky_arrow_thingie in the Paragraph group as well. More possibly useful goodies for you there.

   
__________________
Steve Rindsberg
====================
www.pptfaq.com
www.pptools.com
and stuff
Steve Rindsberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2021, 08:57 PM   #10
Andrew B.
Staff
 
Andrew B.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 4,276
Default

If you can't find a way for Word to take care of this automatically, you could try using WordPerfect. I have a vague memory of using that control. But best to test drive it.

   
__________________
fallberry.com
Andrew B. is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:32 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Contents copyright 2004–2019 Desktop Publishing Forum and its members.