Remove Active Hyphenation as Default Option Permanently

Open InDesign, but do not open any documents. Any changes made to your preferences while a document is open will only affect those documents.

For any changes to stick, you need to make adjustments to your panels and preferences while there are no documents open.

With InDesign Open, you will probably see the start layout where you can either open a new document or select from a series of thumbnails a document you had open recently. If you look to the top right corner of the window you’ll see “Start” with an arrow pointing down next to it. Click on that arrow and pick any layout from there. Select Essentials for simplicity.

In the Paragraph panel, uncheck “hyphenate”. Now, if you open up any new document you will see the hyphenate checkbox unchecked. Documents that have already been created prior to the change on this panel will retain that setting and you will need to turn it off manually.

Remove Hyphenation of Capitalised Words, Last Words and Across Columns

If you’d still like to use hyphenation, but would like to have more control over it, there are some things you can do to help with that.

Firstly, you can change some settings to have InDesign ignore hyphenations that shouldn’t occur – like the hyphenation of a name or place, or the hyphenation of the last word on a line. To do this, go to the burger menu on the top left of your paragraph palette and select “hyphenation” from the fly-out menu.

In the dialogue box, it is recommended you uncheck “Hyphenate Capitalised Words”, “Hyphenate Last Word” and “Hyphenate Across Column”. These are usually bad instances of hyphenation. Again, to make these changes permanent, make sure there are no documents open while changing these settings.

Edit Where Hyphenation Occurs in Words (Or Remove Entirely)

If there is a specific word you want hyphenated in a particular way, go to Edit > Spelling > User Dictionary. In the space for “Word”, type in that word. Once you’ve typed it in, click “Hyphenate”. You will see your word will be broken up into a series of syllables with double tildes (~~). The tildes show where the hyphenations can occur in that word.

You can prioritise where the hyphenation takes place in the word by editing the word to have one tilde where you primarily would prefer the hyphenation to happen, then two tildes where the next best break would be, and so on…

You also have the option to hyphenate the word in a single place only by using just one tilde, or alternatively, you can remove the option of hyphenating the word at all by putting a single tilde at the start of the word. This will inform InDesign to never hyphenate that word. Click “add” to activate your changes.

These changes will be added to your user dictionary and will be available for all current and future documents.

Keeping Words Together

If you have two separate words that you’d like to appear together on the same line and not have them broken up onto separate lines or columns, select the words so they are highlighted in the document. Open up your character palette, click on the burger menu in the top right and select “no break”. This will keep these two words together just for that instance.

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