Insert a hyphen

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If a word is too long to fit at the end of a line, Microsoft Office Word 2007 moves the word to the beginning of the next line instead of hyphenating it. However, you can use the Hyphenation feature to automatically or manually hyphenate the text, insert optional or nonbreaking hyphens, and set the maximum amount of space allowed between a word and the right margin without hyphenating the word.

When you use automatic hyphenation, Office Word 2007 automatically inserts hyphens where they are needed. When you use manual hyphenation, Word searches for the text to hyphenate and asks you whether you want to insert the hyphens in the text.

What do you want to do?


Automatically hyphenate an entire document

When you use automatic hyphenation, Office Word 2007 automatically inserts hyphens where they are needed. If you later edit the document and change line breaks, Office Word 2007 will rehyphenate the document.

  1. Make sure that no text is selected.
  2. On the Page Layout tab, in the Page Setup group, click Hyphenation, and then click Automatic.

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Insert an optional hyphen

An optional hyphen is a hyphen that is used to control where a word or phrase breaks if it falls at the end of a line. For example, you can specify that the word "nonprinting" breaks as "non-printing" instead of "nonprint-ing." When you insert an optional hyphen in a word that is not at the end of a line, the hyphen will be visible only if you turn on Show/Hide.

  1. On the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, click Show/Hide.

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  1. Click in the word where you want to insert the optional hyphen.
  2. Press CTRL+HYPHEN.

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Hyphenate part of a document

Automatically hyphenate a part of a document

  1. Select the text that you want to hyphenate.
  2. On the Page Layout tab, in the Page Setup group, click Hyphenation, and then click Automatic.

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Manually hyphenate part of a document

When you manually hyphenate text, Office Word 2007 searches for text to hyphenate. After you indicate where you want to hyphenate the text, Word inserts an optional hyphen. If you later edit the document and change line breaks, Office Word 2007 displays and prints only the optional hyphens that still fall at the ends of lines. Word doesn't rehyphenate the document.

  1. Select the text that you want to hyphenate.
  2. On the Page Layout tab, in the Page Setup group, click Hyphenation, and then click Manual.

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  1. If Office Word identifies a word or phrase to hyphenate, do one of the following:
    • To insert an optional hyphen in the location that Office Word proposes, click Yes.
    • To insert an optional hyphen in another part of the word, move the insertion point to that location, and then click Yes.

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Insert a nonbreaking hyphen

Nonbreaking hyphens prevent hyphenated words, numbers, or phrases from breaking if they fall at the end of a line of text. For example, you can prevent 555-0123 from breaking; instead, the entire item will move to the beginning of the next line.

  1. Click where you want to insert a nonbreaking hyphen.
  2. Press CTRL+SHIFT+HYPHEN.

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Set the hyphenation zone

The hyphenation zone is the maximum amount of space Office Word 2007 allows between a word and the right margin without hyphenating the word. You can change the hyphenation zone to make it wider or narrower. To reduce the number of hyphens, make the hyphenation zone wider. To reduce the raggedness of the right margin, make the hyphenation zone narrower.

  1. On the Page Layout tab, in the Page Setup group, click Hyphenation, and then click Hyphenation Options.

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  1. In the Hyphenation zone box, type the amount of space you want.

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Remove hyphenation

You can remove all automatic hyphenation and each instance of manual hyphenation, such as optional and nonbreaking hyphens.

Remove automatic hyphenation

  • On the Page Layout tab, in the Page Setup group, click Hyphenation, and then click None.

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Remove manual hyphenation

  1. On the Home tab, in the Editing group, click Replace.

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  1. If you don't see the Special button, click More.
  2. Click Special, and then click one of the following:
    • ClickOptional Hyphen to remove manual hyphens.
    • Click Nonbreaking Hyphen to remove nonbreaking hyphens.
  3. Leave the Replace with box empty.
  4. Click Find Next, Replace, or Replace All.

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Applies to:
Word 2007