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Chapter 8. Aligning Information and Form... > Taking Charge of Hyphenation

Taking Charge of Hyphenation

When you work with paragraphs, you need to decide whether you’re going to hyphenate words at the ends of lines to create more evenly aligned edges within ragged-edge paragraphs or control “rivers” of white space within justified paragraphs. By default, hyphenation is turned off in Word. This means that if a word is too long to fit on a line, the entire word is moved to the beginning of the next line. If you prefer, you can activate Word’s built-in Hyphenation feature to eliminate white space and gaps along the edges of your text. When you use the Hyphenation feature, you can opt to apply hyphenation manually or automatically, as follows:

  • Automatic hyphenation Word automatically hyphenates an entire document. If you later change the document’s contents, Word re-hyphenates the document as needed, while you work.

  • Manual hyphenation Word searches for instances in which hyphenation is needed, and then you manually confirm whether to add a hyphen at each instance. If you later modify the document, Word displays and prints only the hyphens that fall at the ends of lines. To re-hyphenate the document, you would have to repeat the manual hyphenation process.


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