OrphanOrphans and widows are lone words left dangling at the end of the paragraph, leaving a lot of unsightly white space. In the example to the right, the word “king” is an orphan.

You can eliminate orphans and widows in Adobe InDesign by adjusting the kerning (space between characters) or font width.

In the following example (click to enlarge), I decided to increase both the kerning (blue box) and font width (red box).

Increased kerning and font width



With the changes applied, the new last line is “was a king.” If you’re running out of space, you could also reduce the kerning and/or font width to draw the extra word up into the line before it.

Orphaned no more!

Typography is a basic element of design, but it’s also a lot of fun to learn about. You’ll find many free and excellent free tutorials if you search for something like “learn typography for print.”