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"Automatically" -- no. Unless you set Full vertical justification for *all* of your text frames, which I would strongly recommend not to (so you have to manually indicate where and where not, making it not-automated again).
There is nothing exceptionally unusual to have a shorter page if this prevents an orphan or widow. As a matter of fact, that is the very purpose of that functionality -- as it is *less* worse than the alternative.
If it really bothers you, go through your document from start to end and inspect the final line of each paragraph. If it is very short, you might be able to "win" a line by minimally adjusting that paragraph (word spacing, letter spacing, hyphenation ...); if it's very long, you might be able to do the opposite and make it one line longer.
This takes LOTS of time and you have to get it right first time (if you find you forgot one page, you usually have to restore everything you "fixed" after that point), and you have to be VERY careful with your manual tinkering with individual paragraphs, because taking the short road and setting entire swashes of text to -20 tracking WILL definitely be visible in the book. Then again, that's why I said "if it REALLY bothers you.
(I do this all the time, by the way, as it indeed bothers me as well. I take my time to locate the perfect position to gain or loose a single line, often looking ahead or back four or five pages. But I'm realistic: if I cannot find a good solution, or getting rid of one short page causes the *next* pages to run short, I let that one be.)
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I also do what Jongware suggests, but go a step further from time to time and adjust the height of a frame if I can't manage to fix this by subtle tracking (and I seldom would go as high as -10, let alone -20). If you do ANY of these things, though, they affect all pages following, and an edit later in the process can make your correction not only moot, but a bigger problem than the one you corrected, so it's a good idea to wait as long as possible to be sure all text tweaks have been made before you start forcing line lengths and such.
One other thing to try, in addition to Jongware's little list, is to add a non-breaking space at the end of a line instead of a regular flex space. Sometimes ID will recompose and suck the following word onto the line, sometimes not, but if it does this is usually a more benign approach, in my opinion, than manually messing with the spacing.
Thanks to both [Jongware] and Peter Spier for the excellent tips. This may not be the automatic setting I had hoped for, but these are all useful options. Thanks for the good advice and the "toolkit."
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If you're the author, you might want to consider rewriting the annoying paragraphs. Perhaps changing a contraction to full words, or replacing full words with a contraction, for example. Yes, it's hard not to change meaning, so it's your call. If you have a good relationship with the author, you could consider suggesting the same thing.
Other possibiliies that may not be acceptable options in your situation include experimenting with applying the single-line paragraph composer instead of the default multi-line composer, adjusting type and leading heights, and/or text frame size, uniformly all across the book, to see if a tiny tweak resolves all or most of the annoyances.
The Auto-Size text frame feature just introduced in InDesign CS6 might work by setting it to a maximum and minimum height that differ by one line, "grow down from the bottom."
Here's the dialog box:
Search Google for terms like "InDesign CS6 auto-size text frame feature" without quotes for more info.
[EDIT] Ooops, I just learned from Anne-Marie Conception's excellent free sample Lynda.com video tutorial that came up in the Google search I suggested above, that Auto-Size can't set a maximum frame height. So it might be tricky or impossible to find the right combination of keep lines together and other settings for your purpose of compensating for only one line of difference.[/EDIT]
I'm laying out a long novel in InDesign CS3. I've set the text to align to the baseline grid and have the keep options set to prevent widows and orphans. Because of these keep settings, often one page is a line shorter than the one facing it. Is there some way to set things up so that the longer page in a 2-page spread automatically breaks a line sooner, so as to match the shorter facing page -- or do I have to introduce page breaks manually, spread by spread?
Message was edited by: peter at knowhowpro
Thanks for the tips, Peter! Those are helpful suggestions. It's too bad that CS6's new auto-size text frame feature doesn't quite solve the problem. I agree that it sounds promising -- perhaps in CS7… Thank you for going to the trouble to find out about it!
I agree that it sounds promising -- perhaps in CS7…
I have to say here that I've only seen the behavior you're asking for twice... once was in an Arbortext installation ($200k or thereabouts) where the user had set up the defaults to generate texts with specs like yours, but had to seriously abuse hyphenation and tracking in order to do so. The other was a database-drived Quark 5 setup, which didn't abuse hyphenation quite so badly, but dd worse things to margins (up to .3 inches of play between pages) and tracking (up to -25, I think) and so on. It was pretty ugly.
I'm pretty sure that you'll be able to get automated typesetting of the quality you want within, say, a decade. That's just a guess - and my guesses on such matters are sliding a bit; Google managed to get a self-driving car on the road about five years before I had guessed. (I lost a bet over it, too.) But for right now, what you want is still best achieved by a human with a fine discriminatory sense and lots of practice.
Message was edited by: Joel Cherney (did they remap the keystroke for "post your message before you're done writing it?)