Thoughts on using hard hyphens

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Dwayne Harris 3 years ago.

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  • #70311

    I should probably explain it better: It’s about having to use a hard hyphen with a forced line break (i.e., hypenating a word at the end of a line).

    InDesign is usually pretty good at doing stuff, but there are times when it will not cooperate and I am forced to manually hyphenate a word at the end of a line and use a forced line break (soft return). This happens particularly in bibliographies and note sections that have URLs.

    Well, I guess this wreaks havoc with the folks who convert our files into an ePub. They insist that these manual line breaks are unnecessary and throw a fit. I practically got chewed out out today because I did NINE (yes–NINE) manual breaks in a 130 page note section. A section full of URLs and ID not wanting to cooperate in some note paragraphs.

    I usually try to use discretionary hyphens and discretionary line breaks, but sometimes ID has a mind of its own and I have to manually tweak the lines. And is NINE of those unrealistic?

    I guess I’m asking advice on how to tell these people that there are times when you have to manually do things like that.

    And I manually do things all the time. I use no breaks for a bad break or a discretionary hyphen to bring a word down, but there are are times that doesn’t work. And you have to force something.

    Am I wrong in thinking that?

    And I apologize for ranting. But when this person threw a hissy fit about NINE of those hard hyphen breaks (with soft return) I got ticked off. That person could have easily stripped those out in less time than the email that was sent that was bitching.

    It was like a tattle tale thing (oh teacher–so and so did this). Ticks me off.

    And this person probably doesn’t even know how to use InDesign, but only does the ePub from PDFs or something.


  • #70313

    Eugene Tyson

    I’d duplicate the document.

    Remove manually inserted hyphens and line breaks.

    Send them that file.

    Delete the duplicate.

    You could probably set up a multi-find change in the script to make this easier.

    Actually in the past, I’ve done this by opening a document, removing the manual elements, then closing without saving. But reader beware, if InDesign crashes it will open up with those changes in the document!

    Best to work on a copy of it for the those pesky ePub creators.

    • #70314

      Hey Eugene–we had said a long time ago we’d supply a new file that fixes things like that when the book is ready for eBook. We explained that we would do the print version of the book and then when it was off to the printers, we’d run a script to make the print book eBook ready. We never heard back.

      I guess folks just have to complain about the tiniest things.

  • #70315

    Tom Venetia

    Dwayne, if this would be the sole flaw in ID I would jump from joy. The problem is that ID has many more flaws, even in version CS6. I don’t know about CC, maybe Adobe has fixed some bugs, but I am not willing to fill up their coffers more. I will live with CS6 until they prove that it is REALLY worth the money to pay them monthly fees or they return to the old scheme of selling their upgrades for decent prices, not in a bundle (CS) but separately as it used to be in the good ole times when there were marketers in that firm who understood their customers needs.
    Peace, Tom :-)

    • #70337

      Tom–I don’t think it’s so much of a flaw as it’s more of a thing of how URLs have to be broken. It’s the exact opposite of how regular text hyphenates.

      I do know that while CC and CC2014 is okay, for my purposes, CS6 is fine. But we need to keep upgraded because of the clients.

      I’m also not crazy about the subscription thing, but I think it evens out in the long-run. And, unfortunately, this is how it’s going to be from now on. :(

      Have a good weekend.

  • #70345

    Eugene Tyson

    I set all URLs to “No Language” and then indesign just breaks it at a letter, without adding hyphens etc.

    • #70348

      I’ve tried a similar thing, but usually they want us to avoid breaking in the middle of a word. They’d prefer to bring down the period (dot), hyphen, equal signs, etc., to start the turnover line.

  • #70380

    Eugene Tyson

    can you apply a character style that has just no break applied to it, to apply a no break to a word within the url?

    Or perhaps it can be a grep style where it searches between the dot, hpyhen, equal signs, etc to apply a no break to the string of characters between such things?

    • #70389

      I do use a character style that is “no break.”

      I think the issue is mainly that sometimes one has to do too much tweaking to avoid breaking a line manually. Sometimes it’s easier (like in that job I did) to simply break it manually then to spend 5 minutes or so on one stupid note entry. Especially when there are thousands of entries and a deadline is looming.

      And it’s more of an issue with some folks (like the person who complained) that can’t understand this.

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