Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Inserting a Non-Breaking Hyphen.

Inserting a Non-Breaking Hyphen

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 25, 2015)

4

When Word calculates line length and wraps text to the next line, it tries to break the line at a space or a hyphen—a dash. Sometimes, however, you may not want Word to break a line at a dash. For instance, dashes are used in telephone numbers, and you might not want a line to break in the middle of a telephone number.

The answer to this dilemma is to use non-breaking hyphens instead of regular dashes when you don't want Word to break a line at the hyphen. To do this, hold down the Ctrl and Shift keys as you type the dash (this is the same as typing Ctrl and an underscore). Word will then not break the line at that point.

You can also insert a non-breaking hyphen by following these steps:

  1. Display the Insert tab of the ribbon.
  2. Click the Symbol tool (in the Symbols group) and then click More Symbols. Word displays the Insert Symbol dialog box.
  3. Click on the Special Characters tab. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Special Characters tab of the Symbol dialog box.

  5. Highlight the Nonbreaking Hyphen character.
  6. Click on Insert.
  7. Close the dialog box by clicking on Cancel.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (29) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Inserting a Non-Breaking Hyphen.

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

Setting Stable Column Widths in a PivotTable

When you update a PivotTable, Excel can take liberties with any formatting you previously applied to the PivotTable. Here's ...

Discover More

Two Page Numbering Schemes in the Same Document

Word is great at numbering pages if you only need a single, consistent numbering scheme through the document. If you need two ...

Discover More

Letters and Numbers in Page Numbers

A common task is to add page numbers to document headers and footers. If you want those page numbers to include more than ...

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 (ribbon)

Deleting a Page

Want to delete the current page? There is no automatic command to perform this task in Word, but you can create your own ...

Discover More

Moving Breaks Quickly

Breaks in a document can be easily moved from one place to another using familiar editing techniques. The trick is to make ...

Discover More

Text Doesn't Wrap at Margin in Draft View

If you are using Word in Draft view, and the text on the screen doesn't wrap at the right margin like it should, the culprit ...

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 one more than 9?

2016-11-22 09:41:56

jb

i thought it would be easier for me to type regular hyphens then using find and replace to change hyphens i want to be non-breaking with ^~.

but that doesn't seem to work.

ideas?


2016-02-16 11:10:04

Robert Bertin

Is there any way to insert a nonbreaking (short) dash? The dash inserted using Cntrl Shift - is longer than the normal keyboard hyphen that I use elsewhere in my document for the same purpose.


2015-11-01 18:52:00

Jay de Silva

The above procedure (or Word's Ctrl+Shift+_) inserts a non-breaking en-dash, much longer than a dash or hyphen.

I have been trying to get Microsoft to use Alt+0173, which inserts a proper non-breaking hyphen, but of course they do not listen.


2015-09-01 11:41:18

Bill Hull

When viewing a document, how do I tell if a hyphen is non-breaking? Show/Hide does not seem to do it.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu 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.