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: Understanding Hyphens and Dashes.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 7, 2020)
Word supports the use of both hyphens and dashes. Actually, it supports three types of hyphens and two types of dashes. It is important to understand how Word handles each of these as they can affect the appearance of your document.
The foregoing items describe the behavior and purpose of each of the hyphens and dashes used in Word. If you are using a dash or hyphen and it does not behave as indicated here, then you may be using the wrong type. For instance, if a word will not break as you expect between two lines, you may be using a non-breaking hyphen instead of one of the other types.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11025) 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: Understanding Hyphens and Dashes.
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