FACTOID # 21: 15% of Army recruits from South Dakota are Native American, which is roughly the same percentage for female Army recruits in the state.
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Encyclopedia > Widows and orphans

In typesetting, widow refers to the final line of a paragraph that falls at the top the following page of text, separated from the remainder of the paragraph on the previous page. The term can also be used to refer simply to an uncomfortably short (e.g. a single word or two very short words) final line of a paragraph. [1] This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ...

A related term, orphan, refers to the first line of a paragraph appearing on its own at the bottom of a page with the remaining portion of the paragraph appearing on the following page[2]; in other words the first line of the paragraph has been "left behind" by the remaining portion of text.

Note that a widow, by the second definition above, can also fall at the bottom of a page, in the sense that the page ends on a very short line at the end of a paragraph.

An illustration of a widowed line, highlighted in yellow, appearing at the top of a page.

One easy way to remember the difference between and an orphan and a widow is to remember that orphans "have no past, but a future", while widows "have a past but no future" just as an orphan or widow in life.[3] Image File history File links Orphan-typesetting. ... Image File history File links Orphan-typesetting. ...

Widows are considered sloppy typography and should be avoided. Some techniques for eliminating widows include: This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ...

  • Forcing a page break early, producing a shorter page;
  • Adjusting the leading, the space between lines of text;
  • Adjusting the spacing between words to produce 'tighter' or 'looser' paragraphs;
  • Adjusting the page's margins;
  • Subtle scaling of the page, though too much non-uniform scaling can visibly distort the letters;
  • Rewriting a portion of the paragraph.

In typography, leading (IPA , rhymes with heading) refers to the amount of added vertical spacing between lines of type. ...


  1. ^ Carter, Rob. Day, Ben. Meggs, Philip. Typographic Design: Form and Communication 2nd ed. John Wiley & Sons: 1993. p. 263
  2. ^ Collins English Dictionary 6th edition. Glasgow: HarperCollins Publishers, 2003. ISBN 0-00-710982-2
  3. ^ Bringhurst, Robert. The Elements of Typographic Style. 3rd ed. Hartley and Marks Publishers: 2004. pp. 43-44 ISBN 0881792063

This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Philip Baxter Meggs (1942–2002) was an American graphic designer, professor, historian and author of books on graphic design. ...

See also



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