Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Turning Off Paragraph Hyphenation.

Turning Off Paragraph Hyphenation

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 3, 2017)


The hyphenation tool provided with Word can be very handy when creating a document. There may be some paragraphs, however, in which you don't want Word to hyphenate words. You can turn off hyphenation for selected paragraphs by following these steps:

  1. Make sure the insertion point is located in the paragraph you don't want to hyphenate.
  2. Choose Paragraph from the Format menu. Word displays the Paragraph dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Line and Page Breaks tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Line and Page Breaks tab of the Paragraph dialog box.

  5. Ensure the Don't Hyphenate check box is selected.
  6. Click on OK.

Now, when you choose to do an automatic hyphenation, all the paragraphs formatted for no hyphenation are skipped, and only those paragraphs that are not formatted that way are hyphenated. If you use styles, of course, you can make this even easier by setting up some sort of paragraph style that has the hyphenation setting turned on or off according to your needs.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (916) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Turning Off Paragraph Hyphenation.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is two less than 4?

2019-11-07 05:24:50

Neil Macowan

"Some paragraphs" is not enough. I need to know how to disable this annoying function throughout the whole document.

2018-01-10 02:23:43


I have done that hyphenation many times, but still it is not working, nor it shows this symbol -. Can you please help me out with it.

2016-09-30 20:16:53


This isn't helpful at all if you have the latest version of word.

2015-11-02 20:11:43


Thanks, made my morning. (Australia)

2015-04-17 09:07:53


What if I have a word that is hyphenated, but I do not want that word to start a new line and break up the word if it's at the end of a line. E.g. the name Toulouse-Lautrec will be split up into two parts, but I want it to stay together.

2013-12-18 06:14:48


I really did proofread my comment before I hit "Submit". Sorry about the typo's I managed to miss. The final "Work" should be "Word".
More importantly, I explained to you how to turn Hyphenation ON, and later I re-read your post and noticed that you want it turned off. Sorry about that. Just modify the procedure I described and it should still work.


2013-12-18 06:10:27


Hours over the past decade? Wow!
Word 2007 and 2007 solution (note that I am using a Dutch version, so I am translating the menu options into English):
Type a sentence with a long existing word at the end of the first line, that you would want to be hyphenated.
Right click on the Style Standard.
Click on Edit.
Click on the Layout button (lower left corner).
Choose Paragraph.
Choose the textflow tab(? - it is the second tab).
Check the Do not hyphenate (Dutch says "break off - I think that is "Hyphenate" in English).
When you click on OK you should see no change (since Hyphenation is already set to None)
Re-enter the dialog screen & tab and remove the checkmark. When you click on OK you should see that long word hyphenate.
Now, click the checkmark by "New documents based on this template" ON and click OK.
Save your document - call it DELETE for all I care, you can delete it later. Work should save Normal.dotm too; if set up that way it might even ask you if that is alright with you.

That should do it. There might be other ways, but this works.


2013-12-17 13:31:40


I don't ever want to have hyphennation - I want it permanently disabled.
What you are saying in this article is how to temporarily disable it for the particular document I am working on.
How many hours thi problem has forced me to waste over these past decade and more,, having to reset the Hyphenation to "None" or "Never" each time I want to create and save a text document.
I continue to search for an answer. Very tiresome problem!!
Kind regards
Tracy Ansdell

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