Widow/orphan lines 

Newsgroups: comp.text.tex
Date: 1999/10/14


> on the first line of a few pages in my document. Is there a way I can set
> some flag in LaTeX so that I can avoid these widow/orphan lines?
\clubpenatly = 10000
\widowpenaty = 10000

BUT note that TeX calculates page- and line-breaks separately, so it will NOT make some lines looser in order to avert a widow/orphan.


Widow/orphan lines 

One can kill them with \clubpenalty=10000 \widowpenalty=10000

But this is not the best way: It will affect only the page breaking, and you will a get very uneven bottom to the pages (or very badly stretched)

Better is to try to re-set some paragraphs. You can rewrite for better typesetting (William Morris and GBS both did this, allegedly). Or find a reasonably long paragraph with only a few words on the final line, and at the top of that paragraph insert \looseness -1. Tex will now try to make your paragraph one line shorter, so hopefully the widow line several paragraphs ahead won't happen. (You can get a similar effect with the linepenalty parameter, for less computation)

Of course widow lines come and go, and this sort of detailed playing is a waste of time until you prepare the absolutely final and last version of you document.