Hyphenating words

Breaking up words and hyphenating them smoothes out irregularities along the margins, or, in justified alignment, reduces the space left between each word.

Defining hyphenation options

From the Layout tab, go to the Page Setup group, click Hyphenation, then Hyphenation Options.


Specify the hyphenation options:

Hyphenate words in CAPS: if this is unchecked, Word will not hyphenate words in capital letters.

Limit consecutive hyphens to: indicates here the maximum number of consecutive lines that can end in hyphens.

In the version of Word 2016 used in this publication, the Hyphenation zone option is greyed out and therefore inactive. In earlier versions of Word, this option can be used to break up the first word of the following line, if the space available on a line is greater than the value of this zone (0.75 by default).

Click OK.

Activate automatic hyphenation

When this option is activated, Word hyphenates without asking for confirmation. If you add text to the document at a later stage, the hyphenation will be adjusted as you type.

If necessary, change the hyphenation options (cf. previous heading).

Place the insertion point at the beginning of the document.

From the Layout tab, go to the Page Setup group, click Hyphenation, then click Automatic.

Word inserts hyphens into the document automatically wherever necessary.

If you do not want words to be hyphenated automatically in a specific block of text, select that block of text and tick Don’t hyphenate in the Paragraph dialogue box (Home tab - Paragraph group - images/13i10.png button ...