hyphenationMandatory for justified text; optional otherwise
Hyphenation is the automated process of breaking words between lines to create more consistency across a text block.
In justified text, hyphenation is mandatory.
In left-aligned text, hyphenation evens the irregular right edge of the text, called the rag. Hyphenation is optional for left-aligned text because the rag will still be somewhat irregular, even with hyphenation. Hyphenation doesn’t improve text legibility. In this case, consider turning it off.
As line length gets shorter, hyphenation becomes essential. Why? With hyphenation off, your word processor can only break lines at word spaces. As the lines get shorter, there are fewer words and hence fewer possible break points in each line, making awkward breaks more likely.
How to turn hyphenation on (or off)
WordPage Layout → Page Setup panel → Hyphenation → Automatic (or None)
Mac OS WordTools → Hyphenation → check (or uncheck) Automatically hyphenate document
WordPerfectSelect all text. Tools → Language → Hyphenation → check (or uncheck) Turn hyphenation on
Sometimes you may want to suppress automatic hyphenation. For instance, headings are relatively short, so hyphenation often causes more problems than it solves.
|B. Your proposal contains contradic-
tions that render it utterly use-
less for our current needs.
|B. Your proposal contains
contradictions that render it utterly
useless for our current needs.
Hyphenation can be suppressed in a single paragraph, or a set of paragraphs, if you suppress hyphenation within paragraph and character styles.
How to suppress hyphenation in a paragraph
WordRight-click in the text and select Paragraph → Line and Page Breaks → Don’t hyphenate
WordPerfectSelect the paragraph. Tools → Language → Hyphenation → uncheck Turn hyphenation on