Rags, Widows and Orphans

In lesson with Tim we were going through the final stages of creating our double page spread and I (We as a class) were struggling with text placement and how it should look. He then started telling us about  ‘Rags, Widows and Orphans’ in the main body of our text. He showed us what they looked like so we could spot them in our own work and get ride of the by moving text or changing the character style.


This is simply uneven edges in a chunk of a paragraph, as you can see form  the image to the left. Rag is one of the most overlooked details in text placement however when solved it can improve the page and design 100%. “Bad rag” creates distracting shapes of white space in the margins of the page or column where line breaks are varied and inconsistent, the image above shows this as this is an example of bad rag.  06282012figure_b

However “good rag” add a nice running flow down the page down the right side of the paragraph and only dips in and out slightly creating a more smooth and finished look.  (Good rag example is shown to the left)


Widows are paragraph-ending lines which happen to fall at the beginning of the following page or column, there for separating it from the rest of the text. A widow is a very short line or usually one word, or sometimes can be at the end of a hyphenated word at the end of a paragraph or column.

06282012figure_cWidows leave too much white space between paragraphs or at the top of a page. This can make it harder for the reader’s eye as it disrupts the reading process as it not smooth or flowing making it harder to read.




Orphans are very similar to widows however these are single words that are left alone at the end of a paragraph. An orphan can be a word, part of a word, or very short line that appears by itself at the end of a paragraph.  Orphans result in too much white space which is a waste and not making an efficient design. Below I will add a photo to show you the difference between a widow and an orphan.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: