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benin

Widows, Orphans, Runts | Hyphenation: better terminology

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You used in your Flow Window the term «Prevent widowed last lines».

In this context, the term widow is not a well-chosen terminology.
Actually, it is wrong. I suggest using the term «runt» instead of «widowed».
David Blatner introduced the term «runt» for this typographic problem.

In typography, a «runt» occurs when the last line of a paragraph ends with:
- a part of a hyphenated word
- or a single short word
- or a short lines of text with up to 10-signs at the last line of a paragraph.

An exact term of this typographic crime is vague and (historically) does not exist at all.
Some call them orphans or widows; others call them runts.
You called them widows which I think is confusing and not correct in this context.

I agree with David Blatner how proposed the term «runt» and who pointed out that:

...while some people call these widows and other people call them orphans,
those terms definitely do not describe short last lines at the end of a paragraph.
The terms Orphans and Widows are reserved for other typographic problems.
(Orphans are single first lines stranded at the bottom of a column.
Widows are single last lines stranded at the top of a column.)

That’s why I (Blatner)  like the term “runt” when talking about short last-lines in a paragraph.
https://indesignsecrets.com/3-ways-to-fix-runts-in-your-text.php


I would further suggest giving the user in the Flow Window the possibility to define
how much signs are permissible for «Runts». By the way, InDesign is not offering this
functionality and is not using the term «runt».

runts_orphans_widows.png

 

 

 

 

Schusterjunge_runt_widow_orphan_Hurenkind.png

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3 hours ago, benin said:

(Orphans are single first lines stranded at the bottom of a column.

Widows are single last lines stranded at the top of a column.)

That is their meaning in Publisher. Widow and Orphan control applies at the tops and bottoms of columns. They are part of the text flow settings that may move text into the next column. They are not part of H&J and do not change line-end decisions.

Currently we don't do whole-paragraph justification. The closest we have to controlling runts is in the hyphenation section. The hyphenation zone can be different at the end of a paragraph; a larger zone will be less likely to hyphenate the last word of a paragraph.

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Would be great if Affinity Publisher could provide sooner or later an elegant way to avoid hyphenating runts
 
In InDesign probably the best way to get rid of runts is to use a GREP Style.
Inside of the GREP Style you can apply a new Character Style >  Basic Character Formats > No Break >

and to Text, you apply this GREP script  
.{10}\r

 

GREP_No_runts_10signs.png

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16 hours ago, benin said:

Would be great if Affinity Publisher could provide sooner or later an elegant way to avoid hyphenating runts
 
In InDesign probably the best way to get rid of runts is to use a GREP Style.
Inside of the GREP Style you can apply a new Character Style >  Basic Character Formats > No Break >

and to Text, you apply this GREP script  
.{10}\r
 

I think setting Paragraph end zone in the Hyphenation section of the Paragraph panel will have the same effect in a simpler and more direct way. That's what the control is for.

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I tried in PPX9 to change the hyphenation hot zone on a paragraph with a runt (a single word on the last line). It made no difference at all. I could manually force a second word to the last line with a hard space, but this adds excessive spacing to the penultimate line. What works effectively, and what I have used for years, is to reduce the tracking by small increments of 0.1% until the last word fits on the previous line, or to increase the tracking until more words move to the last line of the paragraph. 

With shortcuts, it's not too tedious for a book of 100 or fewer pages, but it would be much better to have a way to automate the process. Format, Justification, Letter-spacing, Minimum/Maximum does this fairly well. I forget what the default is, but I set mine to 97% and 103%. 


AMD A10-6800K, with Radeon HD Graphics 4100 GHz

8 Gb on Windows 10 64-bit build 17763.316 •  My Free OpenType Fonts

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Changing the hyphenation zone will only affect hyphenation. It won't affect words that are not hyphenated.

PagePlus doesn't have No Break, as far as I remember. Publisher does, but currently you'd have to apply it manually because we don't have GREP styles. And it's not ideal anyway for the reason you give: it would force two words onto the next line instead of one, and make the previous line very loose.

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 A GREP style for the Runts is just an annoying workaround. But the great advantage is the automation.
The alternative is to change as Bhikkhu pointed out to change manually the tracking.
However, having an automated process (GREP) is from my experience much better to get rid of runts.
For runts, I intend max. 10 characters at the end of a paragraph / not at the end of a column which is an orphan.
For runts, iD does not offer an easy 1-click automated process which is annoying.
Would be great if AD would have this one day.

Dave:
If you force two words/runts in the last line of a paragraph with a No Break to stay together...  from my experience, they do not make the line before to loose or too tight (Paragraph Composer)... If you made the right settings in the Justification pane (see below my standard settings).

In ID the Paragraph end zone in the Hyphenation section effects only left-aligned/ right-aligned/ text
The 
Paragraph end zone has non-effect on a justified text.


There are other two hyphen related functions which I could imagine that many designers
would be thrilled to have as automation in AP:

1.
A checkbox which prevents hyphening a Word in the 1st line of a column!
This automation ID does not offer. Would be great if AP would offer this possibility in the future.

2.
The possibility to force-prevent a «SINGEL LETTER LAST WORD» in a line.  This issue I also solve in ID with a GREP.
I don't know how you think about this issue going manually through the text to eliminate these 1-letter last words especially in 
left-aligned columns this is very annoying and time-consuming.



Bhikkhu:
For a Body Tex (justified) I use usually these settings for a line length between 45-75 characters:

Justification
Word Spacing
Min 80%    Desired 100%    Max. 135%
Letter Spacing
Min -3%    Desired 0%    Max. 3%
Glyph Scaling
97%    100%    103% 
> a Glyph Scaling somehow between 1-3%; you practically can’t see with the naked eye. Everything over 3% /-3% is problematic.

In ID justification pane:
The %values are very abstract (at least to most of the designers I know). 
But you can approximately convert the %-values into EM-units to get a better feeling for what these %-values mean.

The Letter Spacing has the most significant effect, followed by the Glyph Scaling; the Word Spacing has the slightest impact. The average Word Spacing in a font is 1/4 of an EM, which is 250 units. A 10% Word spacing equals a Tacking Value of 25 (units). Most fonts have a Word Space somehow between 200 and 300 units. Therefore a 90% Word spacing (-10%), equals a Tracking somehow between - 20/-30, depending on the font.  By experience, I found this Rule of thumb: a Glyph Scaling of -1%  (99%) has the same effect in space optimisation as a - 5 Tracking Value. Another Rule of thumb: a Letter Spacing / Tracking between 5-10 is trouble-free and hard to recognise with the naked eye. A tracking between 10-15 is still OK but perceivable. Everything over 20 might do more harm than good.

A good question to which I've no good answer is, how to convert the %-Letter Spacing in EM units. This is quite hard because the kerning/ derning classes differ quite a lot. However, in a font, the side-barings of the lower case «n» is between 20 -90 units of the EM («n» and  «o» are usually the reference letters for the letter spacing of a font; therefore, they are good candidates to get a rough idea of how a typeface is generally spaced). I know it's a bit abstract discurse but might be of interest to get a better feeling of what these values do.

Kerning_Examples.png

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