In the paragraph options, we should have an option for how long the last word in a paragraph must be in order to turn down to its own line. Wording could be "minimum of __ characters on last line" And allow us to turn this feature on or off in addition to specifying the number of characters on the last line.
Yes in a long book or magazine, most of my time is spent manually adjusting tracking/hyphenation or applying "no break" character formatting in order to fix "runts" (agree that is the better term to use here). The GREP style workaround is too technical and cumbersome, especially when you have hundreds of paragraph styles to apply it to. This feature should be built-in as a simple checkbox. It's basic typography.
Scott Keeney commented
I thought I had posted a similar request before, but a search is not turning it up.
I would like a setting called "Minimum Line Length" which would work in conjunction with Paragraph Composer to ensure that the last line of a paragraph exceeds a certain length, e.g., to meet the common requirement that the last line passes the length of a paragraph indent. Paragraph Composer would come into play not only in helping to meet the minimum length but by ensuring that the maximum Word Space is *not* exceeded in doing so.
Raphaël Freeman commented
I call it a runt too! But it would be more useful if one could define it based on the length of the first line indent.
Peter Kahrel commented
Note that an orphan is the first line of a paragraph that ends the page (and a widow id the last line of a paragraph at the top of the page). What Matt describes here doesn't have an official name. 'Short end line', and 'short last line' are the official terms, but 'runt' (coined by David Blatner) is gaining in popularity.