You can improve the appearance of your document by hyphenating words at the ends of the lines. Once hyphenated, text that is not justified will be less ragged at the margin, and justified text will have more uniform spacing between the characters. You can hyphenate text in one of three ways.
You should hyphenate your document after you finish editing, formatting, and using the other proofing tools, because these operations can change the position of line breaks. Also, if you later change features of the page design that affect line breaks, such as the margins, you might need to hyphenate your document again.
You can let Word hyphenate the document in the active window by pointing to Language on the Tools menu and then choosing Hyphenation to open the Hyphenation dialog box:
The hyphenation zone controls the number of hyphenations that Word performs. It works as follows: When Word encounters a word that extends beyond the right indent, it must decide whether it can wrap the word (that is, move the entire word down to the next line) or whether it should hyphenate the word. If wrapping the word would leave space at the end of the line that is narrower than the hyphenation zone (.25 inch wide by default), Word wraps it:
When you select the Automatically Hyphenate Document option, Word will hyphenate your entire document even if you have selected only a portion of the document.
If, however, wrapping the word would leave a space wider than the hyphenation zone, Word hyphenates it:
For information on applying the Don't Hyphenate and other paragraph formatting features, see "Applying Paragraph Formatting Directly." For information on applying the Do Not Check Spelling Or Grammar feature to a block of text, see "Marking the Language."
Choosing a wide hyphenation zone reduces the number of hyphenations that Word must perform, but it increases the raggedness of the margin (or makes the intercharacter spacing less uniform in justified text).
You can assign a paragraph the Don't Hyphenate paragraph formatting to exclude it from automatic hyphenation or hyphenation with confirmation (discussed in the next section). In contrast, applying the Do Not Check Spelling Or Grammar language formatting, mentioned near the beginning of the chapter, blocks all proofing (spelling, grammar, and hyphenation).
If you want Word to hyphenate your document but allow you to confirm the placement of each hyphen, do the following:
Each possible hyphenation position is marked with a hyphen. The proposed hyphenation position is marked with a blinking highlight in addition to the hyphen. The position of the right indent is marked with a vertical line. Word also carries out the proposed hyphenation in the document and highlights the hyphen character.
You should now do one of the following:
When Word hyphenates a word, it inserts a special character known as an optional hyphen. If a word containing an optional hyphen is shifted so that it no longer falls at the end of a line, the hyphen is not printed. However, the optional hyphen remains within the word, and it will reappear and allow the word to be broken if the word shifts back to the end of a line.
You can manually insert optional hyphens, as well as several other related special characters, as shown in Table 10-2.
If you click the Show/Hide ¶ button on the Standard toolbar, Word displays on the screen all the characters listed in Table 10-2. To display optional hyphens only, choose Options from the Tools menu, click the View tab, and select Optional Hyphens in the Formatting Marks area.
Table 10-2. Manually Inserted Hyphens and Nonbreaking Spaces
|Special Character||Shortcut Key for Inserting It||Properties|
|Optional hyphen||Ctrl+hyphen (the hyphen key on the top row of the keyboard, not on the numeric keypad)||When an optional hyphen falls at the end of a line, it is printed and the word that contains it is broken. When it falls within a line, it doesn't print.|
|Nonbreaking hyphen||Ctrl+Shift+hyphen (the hyphen key on the top row of the keyboard, not on the numeric keypad)||A nonbreaking hyphen is always printed. A word is never broken at the position of a nonbreaking hyphen. It can be used to keep a hyphenated word or expression together on a single line.|
|Normal hyphen||hyphen (the hyphen key on the top row of the keyboard or on the numeric keypad)||A normal hyphen is always printed. Word will break a word at the position of a normal hyphen if it falls at the end of a line.|
|Nonbreaking space||Ctrl+Shift+Spacebar||A line break can't occur at the position of a nonbreaking space. This character can be used to keep several words together on a single line.|