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: Hyphenating a Selection.

Hyphenating a Selection

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 23, 2013)

Hyphenation is the process of adding hyphens to words at the beginning of lines so the hyphenated part will fit at the end of the previous line. The hyphens are inserted between syllables in a word. Word offers two types of hyphenation: automatic and manual. If you choose the first, you can only hyphenate your entire document. If you choose the latter, you can hyphenate your entire document or any portion thereof. To hyphenate just a selection of your document, follow these steps:

  1. Select the text you want to hyphenate.
  2. Choose Language from the Tools menu, then choose Hyphenation. Word displays the Hyphenation dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Hyphenation dialog box.

  4. Click on the Manual button.
  5. You are shown the first possible hyphenation.
  6. If the word being proposed for hyphenation is long enough, you may be able to specify a different place for it to be hyphenated. Simply click on one of the proposed hyphenation points.
  7. Click on Yes to hyphenate the word at the noted point, or click on No to skip hyphenating the word. You are then shown the next possible hyphenation.
  8. Repeat steps 5 and 6 for the remainder of the selection.
  9. When asked if you want to hyphenate the rest of the document, click on No.

Again, there is no automatic way to hyphenate just a selection. There is a way to get around this, however—provided the portion you want to hyphenate is an entire paragraph. All you need to do is select the portions of the document you don't want to hyphenate, and then follow these steps:

  1. Choose Paragraph from the Format menu. Word displays the Paragraph dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Line and Page Breaks tab is selected. (See Figure 2.)
  3. Figure 2. The Line and Page Breaks tab of the Paragraph dialog box.

  4. Ensure the Don't Hyphenate check box is selected.
  5. 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 (3500) 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: Hyphenating a Selection.

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

Shrinking Cell Contents

Need to cram a bunch of text all on a single line in a cell? You can do it with one of the lesser-known settings in Excel.

Discover More

Incrementing Numeric Portions of Serial Numbers

If you use serial numbers that include both letters and numbers, you might wonder how you can increment the numeric portion ...

Discover More

Printing Based on Cell Contents

Would you like to have a worksheet automatically printed when a particular cell contains a specified value? You can achieve ...

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)

Understanding the Hot Zone

Need to hyphenate your document? Then you need to know about the hot zone because it controls how words are hyphenated

Discover More

When to Hyphenate Your Document

Want to add a finishing touch to your printed document? Hyphenating the words in the document can make your text read easier. ...

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

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 8 - 3?

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.

Newest Tips
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.