You just gotta use what you have

So, I'm trying to finalize the layout here, and I've run into an interesting little dilemma. I'm using Word and Acrobat, but I don't have a proper page-layout program (Quark XPress, which is what we used to work with at my first publishing job, is $800--yoikes), and at this point I'm running into the limitations of the software I do have.

The main issue is that you can't just force a line of text onto the next page in Word. This was a feature of Quark I am missing right now--with that software, you can just say, "Go down, line!" and the line will dutifully move down. With Word, you can put in a text break, or you can put in a paragraph break, but line breaks are more elusive.

So my first thought was, I'll add in a bunch of nonsense text, and then I'll make it white. Voila! The nonsense text is invisible against the white background of Word and Acrobat, and the line is where I want it.

But then those dim memories of people in the art department weeping and wailing started to come back to me. See, the issue is, something can be invisible when you print it out, but NOT be invisible when the printer prints it out. Our managing editor doled out any number of savage beatings because "invisible" text was read by the printer's software, duly transformed into black text, and printed!

We segue to a quick publishing joke:
Q. How many managing editors does it take to change a light bulb?
A. You were supposed to have that light bulb changed last week!

Segue over! So, obviously, I was hoping for an alternative. I think I've hit on one--I am putting in a paragraph break, and then kerning out the last line before the break so that it spreads all the way across the page. It's not perfect--the line is a fragment of a letter too short--but I think it's close enough that if you're not looking for it, you won't notice it.

I mean, I guess I could risk an "invisible" text fiasco--I plan to see a copy of the finished book before I make it generally available in any case. But I think this fix is good enough, and it doesn't bring back memories of whips cracking and designers cowering in terror in a corner.

(OK, fine--the managing editor did not actually beat people. In boring reality, I liked her and had a tremendous amount of respect for her. But she was pretty tough.)

Oh, and if you're wondering why I'm pushing all these lines of text to the next page, take a book off the shelf and open it. Assuming there's no weird art and you're not at the end of a chapter, the blocks of text on the facing pages should both be the same length. If not, that managing editor has a weak arm!