Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Hyphenating Your Document.

Hyphenating Your Document

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 8, 2017)

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 can automatically hyphenate your document for you, or you can use the hyphenation tool to manually hyphenate your document. To use the hyphenation tool, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the beginning of your document (this is not necessary, but saves time when hyphenating).
  2. Display the Layout tab of the ribbon. (In Word 2007 or Word 2010 select the Page Layout tab of the ribbon.)
  3. In the Page Setup group, click the Hyphenation tool. Word displays a series of choices.
  4. Select Hyphenation Options. Word displays the Hyphenation dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Hyphenation dialog box.

  6. Use the controls in the dialog box to specify parameters of how the hyphenation is done.
  7. Select the Automatically Hyphenate Document check box if you want Word to make all the hyphenation decisions for you. When you subsequently click on OK, you can skip the rest of these steps.
  8. Click on the Manual button.
  9. You are shown the first possible hyphenation.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Repeat steps 9 and 10 for the remainder of the document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6825) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Hyphenating 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

Automatically Protecting After Input

Do you want user-entered data to be immediately protected so that it cannot be changed? This can be done relatively ...

Discover More

Using a Different Footer on Secondary Pages

When printing a worksheet, you may want to have the footer different on the first page of your document than it is on ...

Discover More

Extracting First and Last Words

When working with text phrases stored in cells, it might be helpful to be able to extract words from the phrase. In this ...

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)

Extra Space after Quotation Mark when Pasting

Have you ever noticed how Word can decide to add extra spaces when you paste information into your document? This is part ...

Discover More

Inserting a Non-Breaking Space

In Word a non-breaking space will help you keep two words together on the same line. Here's two different ways that you ...

Discover More

What Line Am I On?

At the bottom of your document, on the status bar, Word allows you to include an indicator of the line on which your ...

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 seven more than 2?

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 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.