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Old 12-02-2012, 10:22 PM   #1
c.e.lawson
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Formatting Bottom Margins for MS

Hello,

This question will display my vast tech ignorance for all the world to see, but I'm getting a little frustrated, so it's okay.

Is there a way to make my bottom margins automatically go to as close to 1 inch as they can?

I've got the normal margins checked, 1 inch top and bottom. But when I do any sort of editing (lately mostly cutting) of the manuscript, invariably I later find some bottom margins that are too large. So I have to scroll through the entire 400 page MS to fix them, due to chain reactions apparently. This is very time-consuming. I'm sure I'm doing something wrong. What I have done is go to the large margins and click off the orphan thingy, then the subsequent page moves up a bit to my large margin. There has to be a better way, right?

Thanks,

c.e.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:22 AM   #2
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Possibly widow/orphan control.

MS Word includes this in the Paragraph settings. It's supposed to keep just one line of a paragraph from showing up on a page by itself.

That's just one way MS Word controls pagination. Take a look at this Microsoft article about controlling pagination.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:52 AM   #3
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Have you set the footer margins to zero?

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Old 12-03-2012, 09:35 PM   #4
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Hi Blacbird -- I couldn't find anything about footer margins. But I only have a header in the document, no footer. Hmmm. Thanks, though.

And thanks for the article, GrayLensman. It definitely mentioned having to frequently rebreak pages during editing, if the pagination (never even heard this term before, LOL) isn't set optimally. I'll keep reading and figure this out.

So now I have another question. Is it wrong to have a paragraph cut in half at the bottom of a page to continue on the next? Better to have a large margin and start a new para on the next page? That would definitely make things easier.

Thanks to both of you for your help!
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by c.e.lawson View Post
So now I have another question. Is it wrong to have a paragraph cut in half at the bottom of a page to continue on the next? Better to have a large margin and start a new para on the next page? That would definitely make things easier.
Let paragraphs break where they will. Keeping paragraphs whole is only used in certain business or academic documents generally (as Gray mentioned, this is also an option in Word with the widows/orphans setting).

Just consider what would happen if you had a very long paragraph and didn't let it break; you might end up with the five inch bottom margin.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:46 PM   #6
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I'd be willing to bet you have widows and orphans turned on. It's a word processing feature borrowed from newspapers, where they try not to allow a single line to be alone in a column. For a manuscript, you don't care--and if it's on, it will indeed cause your bottom margin to jump around in terms of its size.

Maryn, just reiterating what's been said, because it keeps her busy
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:02 PM   #7
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Yes, alleycat and Maryn -- that's exactly what is happening!

But it seems I can only go in and turn the Widow/Orphan thing off on a case by case basis, when I fix the paragraph. It would make better sense to have a way to turn it off for the entire MS, but I've clicked it off many times and when the issue comes up again, I'll go to rebreak the para and I have to click it off again.
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:06 PM   #8
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You may have to Select All or highlight all the text, then go to the Widows and Orphans setting.

For future use, go to the template that you use for this type of writing and set the Widows and Orphans off (and any other settings you need to, such as "smart quotes"); that way you won't have this problem in the future.
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alleycat View Post
You may have to Select All or highlight all the text, then go to the Widows and Orphans setting.

For future use, go to the template that you use for this type of writing and set the Widows and Orphans off (and any other settings you need to, such as "smart quotes"); that way you won't have this problem in the future.
Will do! Thank you. And yes, I need to make a template for next MS. I've been finding things out one by one as I go along (like the smart quotes). And your advice is just in time as I begin my next story! Thanks so much.
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:42 PM   #10
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I can't remember offhand, but the Widows and Orphan setting probably applies section by section (if you have section breaks). Selecting all text and then turning W&Os off should fix it. If not, come back and we'll try something else.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:07 AM   #11
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And I'd still check on the footers. They should be wherever headers are. They work in identical ways.

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Old 12-06-2012, 08:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c.e.lawson View Post
Yes, alleycat and Maryn -- that's exactly what is happening!

But it seems I can only go in and turn the Widow/Orphan thing off on a case by case basis, when I fix the paragraph. It would make better sense to have a way to turn it off for the entire MS, but I've clicked it off many times and when the issue comes up again, I'll go to rebreak the para and I have to click it off again.
When you're in *a* paragraph, and change the setting there, that's what you're doing. Editing *a* paragraph.

What you want is to edit the style. Couple of ways to do this in Word 2010 (what I have). First of all, make one paragraph EXACTLY the way you want it. Now find find the Normal style (Unless you've created custom styles, which I did, Normal is what you're using, and highlighted in the Styles area). Right-click on Normal. There's an option there to "Update Normal to match selection." It should update everything. When you're done and close down Word, it'll ask if you want to save the Normal style. Unless you like doing this every time you use Word, I'd suggest saving.

There's a manual method, also. Instead of the option above at right-click, choose "Modify." Except for the few easy items that display in the Modify window, you're going to want to click on "Format" and then "Paragraph..." You'll find Widow/Orphan controls just like when you edited the paragraph above.

I'm a computer geek, so I spent the better part of a day playing with all the options in that Modify window. For all its "Microsoftiness", it's a pretty durn powerful program if you're willing to wander into its back-alleys.
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Old 12-08-2012, 01:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayLensman View Post
When you're in *a* paragraph, and change the setting there, that's what you're doing. Editing *a* paragraph.

What you want is to edit the style. Couple of ways to do this in Word 2010 (what I have). First of all, make one paragraph EXACTLY the way you want it. Now find find the Normal style (Unless you've created custom styles, which I did, Normal is what you're using, and highlighted in the Styles area). Right-click on Normal. There's an option there to "Update Normal to match selection." It should update everything. When you're done and close down Word, it'll ask if you want to save the Normal style. Unless you like doing this every time you use Word, I'd suggest saving.

There's a manual method, also. Instead of the option above at right-click, choose "Modify." Except for the few easy items that display in the Modify window, you're going to want to click on "Format" and then "Paragraph..." You'll find Widow/Orphan controls just like when you edited the paragraph above.

I'm a computer geek, so I spent the better part of a day playing with all the options in that Modify window. For all its "Microsoftiness", it's a pretty durn powerful program if you're willing to wander into its back-alleys.
Sorry, GrayLensman -- I missed this when you first posted. Thank you so much! I have the older Word - 2007, I think? But I'll see if it's similar enough to figure out as described. I really appreciate you explaining this. I haven't ventured into the style section yet, but obviously I need to make my own custom template. Thanks again! I'll go and experiment right now.

c.e.
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Old 12-08-2012, 06:33 AM   #14
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Hope it helps. Word 2007 is when MS introduced us all to the ribbon interface, so it should be pretty close.
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