Word: Quick way to look for orphaned content

August 5, 2009

One of the last things I do when working on a long document is check for small amounts of text that have flowed on to a new page or headings that are orphaned from their following text. I’ve usually done this by using the Print Preview settings in Word and changing the view to, say, eight pages at a time.

But Susan McC, a colleague of mine, suggested using the 10% zoom view — and it’s great! You can see at a glance where the excess white space is, and where headings are separated from their following content.

Here’s how a 10% view looks — notice the almost white pages? They would be the ones I’d go back and check to see if there was a way I could get all that text on one page.

Almost-white pages show orphaned content

Pages with lots of white show orphaned content

[Link last checked May 2010]


  1. […] Use the zoom slider to zoom in (e.g. 150% when your eyes get tired) and zoom out (e.g. 20% to see multiple doc pages at once and thus identify highlighted text, headers/footers not right, strange page breaks, etc.) […]

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