[Mac S 3] Widow / Orphan control for PDF/print

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Silverdragon
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Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:51 am Post

Widow and Orphan control is available when compiling to word processor formats, but not when compiling to PDF or print. But if I'm compiling to Word, I don't need widow/orphan control, since Word can do that for me. Where I really need it is when compiling to PDF or Print, where I don't have an intermediate step to clean up this formatting.

Would this be practical to implement?
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devinganger
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Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:02 am Post

I wonder if that's because what Scriv is doing is marking the output with the code for "protect this bit", not actually trying to do the placement on page like it would be with PDF/print.
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Devin L. Ganger
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Silverdragon
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Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:26 am Post

It may well be so, but I thought it couldn't hurt to ask... :D
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KB
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Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:50 am Post

Widow and orphan control is an insanely difficult and non-trivial task. I spent about three months on this in the past, and even took out a tech support incident with Apple and got help from an Apple text engineer - all to no avail. The upshot of all of that work was the "Keep with Next" feature, nothing else. The problem is that you aren't just fixing the current container (page) - pushing down a widow - but you also have to look ahead to the next container for orphans, and then re-layout the previous container if necessary. It turns into a recursive mess. Add to this the complex code required by end-of-page footnotes, which already has to tweak container space and make sure that, in reducing the text on the page to make room for footnotes, it doesn't push to the next page the text associated with the footnote, and the job of implementing widows and orphans is now even more complex than it was when I last looked at this.

So, I'm afraid that this is unlikely to come any time soon, if ever. Out of interest, though, why do you want it? As you say, you can export to Word if you really need this. And I flicked through the books on my shelves - novels, mostly - and I couldn't find one that had definite widow/orphan control. The vast majority had widows and orphans liberally throughout.

All the best,
Keith
"You can't waltz in here, use my toaster, and start spouting universal truths without qualification."

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Silverdragon
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Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:15 pm Post

Thanks for your detailed answer, Keith. Dang, a 3 month rabbit hole and nothing to show for it, eh? No wonder you decided to leave it to the dedicated word processors and layout apps.

As to why I want it, put it down to mild OCD. :D It's a "nice to have", but if it really twists my knickers I'll fire up something to post-process, as you suggest.
So you know where I'm coming from:
• I'm a user, not an L&L employee.
• Mac Scrivener 2.9 & 3.0.0, MacBook Air 11, MacOS 10.12.6 (Sierra)
• iOS Scrivener 1.1.5, iPhone 6s, iPad Air 2, iOS 11.2