4

I use a figure environment without placement specifiers, and it ends up being put on top of a page, with the very last word of the preceding paragraph put just below it. This means that the page with the figure on it looks like

1) figure+multiple lines of caption

2) spacing

3) the single word "chamber."

4) spacing

5) a new paragraph

note that the multiple lines of caption make the extra word appearing below it look particularly weird. (i am sorry for not including an MWE, but a lot of fiddling around would be required to get the exact problem that I have)

Now, of course I could use placement specifiers to get rid of this specific problem, or I could add a non breaking space to at least get one more word on the new line. My question however is if there is a general (and canonical) solution to this, or if it is actually acceptable to have that single word at the beginning of a page. (I personally just don't want to look unprofessional)

  • There are means to use penalties to prevent so-called "widows" (single lines at the end of a paragraph on a new page). Search this site for "widow" and learn more. – Steven B. Segletes Mar 20 '15 at 13:32
  • Or just accept the fact that ANY set of rules applied everywhere will inevitably produce undesired results. – John Kormylo Mar 20 '15 at 14:52
3

Latex tries hard to not have a single line of the paragraph go over a page, but if the page does break there it has no way of saying that's a particularly bad place to have a top float.

You could try increasing \widowpenalty (from its default of 150) to encourage the last line of a paragraph to stay with the paragraph on the previous page (or for two lines to come over to the new page), but unless there is enough flexibility on the page to accommodate an extra line, often this will have no effect as that is the only feasible break point.

Best to leave it until the document is nearly finished (or forever:-) and then if you want to change things, you can re-word, or use \enlargethispage{\baselineskip} on the previous page to squeeze in an extra line, or use the optional argument on that float to remove t possibility.

  • 2
    an intermediate approach could be to "tie" the last word to the previous word with a ~ -- xxx~chamber. if the paragraph is long enough, this might be enough to re-flow it and fit "chamber" into a tighter paragraph on the previous page, or it could just result in two words in a widow line. – barbara beeton Mar 20 '15 at 15:31

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