Keep it Together

By Donald G. McGahan
March 10, 2016

One of the annoying things about word processors is actually a strength. Word wrap. Think about it. You don’t have to: usually.

Word processors do an amazing task of wrapping text to fit within the lines, margins really, and they adapt when you change the margins. Brilliant really.

But, what if you do not want a hyphenated technical term to break at the end of the line? Worse yet are technical values with units that break between the units. Very difficult to read.

Following, I jot some quick ways to keep them –hyphen (em dash), spacebar break, underscores– from breaking at the end of the line.

Drumroll please….

hold down the Ctrl and Shift keys as you type the dash, hyphen, space, or underscore.

You do know that you are not generally supposed to put a dash between a number and the unit, right?

Wrong: 12-cm

Right: 12 cm

use a non-breaking space between the value and the units.

If the value and units are a complex adjective preceding a noun then the hyphen is called for. For more about hyphen grammar guidelines see the GrammarBook blog by Jane Straus at

Is technology building a better professor?

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