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Tip of the Week: Breaking Words With Discretionary Hyphens

This InDesign tip on breaking words with discretionary hyphens was sent to Tip of the Week email subscribers on October 19, 2017.

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To manually break a word at the end of a line, you can use a discretionary hyphen. Put your cursor where you want to break the word.

Then choose Type > Insert Special Character > Hyphens and Dashes > Discretionary Hyphen or Command/Ctrl+Shift+-(Hyphen).


If type should reflow so the word is no longer at a line ending, the discretionary hyphen disappears.

Erica Gamet

Erica Gamet

Erica Gamet has been involved in the graphics industry for nearly 30 years. She is a speaker, writer, and trainer, focusing on Adobe InDesign and Illustrator, Apple Keynote and iBooks Author, and other print- and production-related topics. She has spoken at the InDesign Conference, PePcon, ebookcraft in Canada, and Making Design in Norway. When she isn’t at her computer, she can be found exploring her new hometown of Seattle and the greater Pacific Northwest.
Erica Gamet

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5 Comments on “Tip of the Week: Breaking Words With Discretionary Hyphens

  1. Hi Erica,

    The snapshot under “Then choose Type > Insert Special Character > Discretionary Hyphen or Command/Ctrl+Shift+-(Hyphen).” needs to be corrected.

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