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: When to Hyphenate Your Document.

When to Hyphenate Your Document

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 19, 2015)

Word includes a hyphenation tool that you can use to make better use of the horizontal text space on your page. You should not need to hyphenate your document often, if you remember these guidelines of when hyphenation is necessary:

  • Hyphenate only before you print. This should be the last step you do, definitely after spell checking and grammar checking your document (if you do these as separate steps).
  • Hyphenate after you change printer drivers. Printer drivers affect the horizontal spacing of fonts. Since the horizontal spacing changes, the applicable hyphenation will change, as well.
  • Hyphenate if you change fonts. It is the font that determines how much text you can get on a line. When you change fonts, you change the amount of text that will fit on a line, and thus change the need for hyphenation.
  • Hyphenate if you change paper size, paper orientation, page margins, or paragraph indents. Changes in any of these options will cause Word to "reflow" your paragraphs, so what appears on each line will also change.
  • Hyphenate if you change machines. If you choose to print your document on a different machine than it was developed on, you will undoubtedly be using a different printer driver and perhaps a different version of Word—both of which can affect horizontal spacing of your text.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1099) 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: When to Hyphenate Your Document.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Changing Table Cell Text Direction

When creating a table, you can turn the orientation of the text, within a cell, by ninety degrees in either direction from ...

Discover More

Quickly Displaying Formatting Specs

It's easy to apply formatting to text, but often hard (after the fact) to know exactly what was done. If you often need to ...

Discover More

Cross-Referencing Index Entries

You've probably seen an index where an entry says something like 'Obsidian: See igneous rock.' This sort of ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

MORE WORDTIPS (MENU)

Hyphenating Your Document

One of the final touches you can add to a document is to hyphenate it. This allows text to flow more smoothly from line to ...

Discover More

Turning Off Paragraph Hyphenation

Need to make sure that a particular paragraph never has any hyphenated words in it? You can make sure that Word won't ...

Discover More

Turning Off Automatic Hyphenation for Parts of a Document

Word can hyphenate documents automatically, if you want it to. But what about those situations where you want most of a ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing
Share