Microsoft Word/Word Widow & Orphans


I am creating a legal document that has articles and sections under each article.  I am trying not to have the article name and article number which are centered in the document, not to stand alone at the bottom of the page (I think that's considered a "widow.")

I have tried Widow/Orphan control, Keep with next, and Keep lines together under the pagination option of the Line and Page Break tab of the Paragraph Option in the ribbon. I'm reluctant to put a (hard) page break in the document for fear that when articles are amended or text added to it, it will cause a blank page to appear or some other kind of malfunction.


Jack Devlin

If you were using the built-in heading styles for these titles, they would be formatted as "Keep with next" by default, but applying this formatting to the headings should do the trick provided you don't have an empty paragraph ("blank line") between the heading and the body paragraphs that follow. Instead, add the appropriate amount of Spacing Before/After to the heading or body paragraphs. If you insist on having an empty paragraph, then you must format it as "Keep with next" also.

For more on the effects of different settings on pagination in Word, see

For a discussion of the rationale for using the built-in heading styles, see
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Suzanne S. Barnhill


I've been using Word for Windows since version 2.0 (1992), and the more I learn about it, the more I realize how little I know. But I may know a few things that you don't, and I'll help if I can. I answer many questions every day in Microsoft's peer support forums and as a result have been awarded the MVP (Most Valuable Professional) designation by Microsoft Corporation. You may be able to find the answer to your question at the Word MVPs' FAQ site or at my own Word FAQ site, so please check those first! Please, no questions about VBA (macros), Registry editing, networks, or complex merges, as I have no experience with these aspects of Word, nor do I have any experience with Word for Mac. Please indicate which version of Word you are using; if you are not sure, see "What version of Word do I have?".


I have a master's degree in classics (Latin), which is surprisingly helpful, though I no longer teach. The things I am proudest of: Having raised two children to maturity, both Merit Scholars, both college graduates (one a philosophy major!), one Phi Beta Kappa (from Harvard!); having been made a Paul Harris Fellow by my Rotary club; having been designated a Microsoft MVP.

Rotary Club of Fairhope, Friends of the Fairhope Public Library

B.A. (Latin), Agnes Scott College, 1966; M.A. (Classics), Emory University, 1972.

Awards and Honors
Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award every year since 1999; many Rotary honors

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