Ensuring Consistent Lines on Each Page

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated October 8, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Ken has a problem when he uses master and subdocuments. He wants all of the pages in the printed document to have the same number of lines, which means he has to turn off widow and orphan control in the document. When he opens the master document, which in turn opens the subdocuments, the widow and orphan control is automatically enabled.

There are several things at play here. The primary thing you need to remember is that widow and orphan control is handled on a section level. In other words, in the same document you could have widow and orphan control enabled in one section and disabled in another. This is crucial, because master and subdocuments rely on sections extensively.

When you create a master document, each subdocument is placed within its own section. The settings in the section override any settings within the actual subdocument itself. Thus, it does no good to turn off widows and orphans in the subdocument files if widows and orphans are enabled in the master document.

The solution to this one problem is to make sure that widows and orphans are turned off everywhere. Individually load the subdocuments. (Don't load them through the master document, but open them individually.) Make sure that widows and orphans are turned off in each section in each subdocument. Then, open the master document. In each section in the master document, make sure that widows and orphans are turned off. If you are creating a new master document, make sure that widows and orphans are turned off before you start inserting subdocuments.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1401) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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