Widow/Orphan control in Word 2007

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Those of you who have been desktop publishing for a while will know what Widow/Orphan control is. 

For those that don’t… imagine that you are writing a paragraph, buy and the last line of the paragraph doesn’t quite fit on one page, so it jumps to the next page.  That would look pretty silly right? 

Well Widow/Orphan control is the way that Word makes sure that the exact situation described above does not happen.  By default Widow/Orphan control in Word 2007 will be turned on, but like everything in Word, you can toggle it to meet your needs.

To toggle Widow/Orphan control in Word 2007:

1) Make sure you are on the “Home” tab of the ribbon

2) Look for the “Paragraph” group

3) Click on the little square and arrow icon in the bottom right hand border of the “Paragraph” group

4) Click on the “Line and Page Breaks” tab of the box that appears

5) In the “Pagination” group, uncheck (or check) the “Widow/Orphan control” checkbox


‘till next time!

3 thoughts on “Widow/Orphan control in Word 2007

  1. This is a very good explanation of how to disable (or enable) the Widow/Orphan control in Word 2007…. however, this control does not hold. I have even tried setting it as the default for future documents, but it does not even stay disabled for the document that I am composing. How can I PERMANENTLY disable the Widow/Orphan command?

  2. And is there any way to set the parameters for widow/orphan control, i.e., minimum lines to cause or avoid a page break.Years ago, I used to write stuff in troff. There we had:
    .ne [number of lines]
    Anything like that in Word? If not, it’s a major omission.

  3. I’m having the same problem as Kat, and I’m in Word 2010. I disable the widow and orphan control, then when I see my pages not aligning at the bottom, I return to the control and the box is checked again. Setting it to default created a bunch of other issues, moving my chapter numbers to the left instead of staying in the center. This can’t be right. What’s the solution?

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