Shortcut Key for Non-Breaking Space

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 7, 2015)


Omid has a document with many "optional hyphen" characters. He wants to replace all of them with a "non-breaking space," so he wonders if there is a keyboard shortcut for entering the non-breaking space in the document.

The quick answer is that yes, there is a keyboard shortcut for non-breaking spaces: it is Ctrl+Shift+Spacebar. This shortcut has actually been covered in a different WordTip.

That being said, it still sounds like Omid may be going through the document and replacing all those optional hyphens manually. (Whether those replacements should be made at all is, I suppose, beside the point.) There is a much faster way to do the replacement using Word's Find and Replace capabilities. Follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+H to display the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  3. In the Find What box, enter "^-" (without the quote marks). That is a carat character (Shift+6) followed by a dash.
  4. In the Replace With box, enter "^s" (again, without the quote marks). That is a carat character followed by a lowercase "s."
  5. Click on Replace All.
  6. Close the Find and Replace dialog box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13408) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

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. ...


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What is 1 + 8?

2015-11-09 09:00:22

Steve Dunham

"Whether those replacements should be made at all": that reminds me that a long time ago, I and another editor were working on a document, and the writer informed us that he had found a lot of things that looked like degree symbols between words (those were nonbreaking spaces we had put in), so the writer removed them. It reminded us editors of the famous image of peasants with pitchforks at Gonesse attacking a hot air balloon.

2015-11-09 02:59:11

Markus Koschinsky

In a very similar fashion you can create a non-breaking dash: Ctrl-Shift-'-'

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