Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tip #1 - how to avoid orphan headings

This is probably one of my favorite tips - I use it a lot when I'm writing articles or pleadings.  A common problem people have is when their headings land on the bottom of the page without any text underneath.  Most people just hit enter to put it on to the next page but if things move around, that title may end up on the next page with a bunch of spaces above it and that will have to be fixed.  It can be a real hassle to make sure all of those things look right, especially if they keep changing.  So, here's how to fix it in Word (WordPerfect users, if there is a similar trick, please send it to me).

1.  Highlight the offending heading and, if there's a space below it that is also on the same page, that space
2. Click Format, then Paragraph
3.Click the Line and Page Breaks tab
4. Check the box next to "Keep with Next"

Now your heading will always be kept with the paragraph below it and you won't have to fix it again.  You can do this for every heading you use or just do it when you see an orphaned heading.

Time saved!


  1. Thank you!! I always find myself running into that problem. Also, in WordPerfect, it's just "Format," "Keep text together," then you can select how you want to do it.

  2. Thank you! I was struggling with my orphans... your solution saved me so much time!

  3. This happens to me all the time....I just tried your suggestion and it worked like a charm. Thank you!

  4. Awesome! Looks like you can apply this to all headings pretty easily. After you do this to one heading, click the little pop out arrow for the Styles group on the home ribbon, then the drop down arrow beside the heading type and select "Update Heading [x] to Match Selection"
    I'm editing a cookbook that I think must have been converted through a few different file types. The formatting's a nightmare and this was one of many annoying problems I was encountering as I fiddle with it.