Typesetting glossary

Widows and orphans

Widows and orphans cause a distraction when reading as they break the natural flow and look untidy and are often seen in books that aren’t professionally produced. The definition for widows and orphans is as follows; An “orphan” is a split paragraph which leaves the first line at the bottom of a page or a column. A “widow” is when the last line of a paragraph starts a new page.

Word spacing and colour

Inconsistent colour text colour occurs usually in justified text, where the left and right hand side of the text are vertically aligned which gives the appearance of a text block. Causes of this unevenness in colour can be created where the space between words and characters is altered to accommodate a line of text that can’t be hyphenated. The offending line will either appear darker than the rest of the page due to the white space being removed between characters or lighter due to more white space being added, in extreme cases large chunks of white space being inserted between words. A river caused by uneven spacing between words can sometimes create a series of vertically aligned white spaces creating a division in the text, this white unbroken meandering white line looks something like a river, hence the name. 

Repeated words at the end of lines

Words can sometimes repeat vertically on the left and right of a column, this often happens with common words such as ‘and’ or ‘the’. The effect which is visually displeasing also causes a distraction for the eye. There are a number of techniques that we use to remove the duplication whilst not creating any of the problems above.