User Guide Cancel

Hyphenation and line breaks

  1. Illustrator User Guide
  2. Get to know Illustrator
    1. Introduction to Illustrator
      1. What's new in Illustrator
      2. Common questions
      3. Illustrator system requirements
      4. Illustrator for Apple silicon
    2. Workspace
      1. Workspace basics
      2. Learn faster with the Illustrator Discover panel
      3. Create documents
      4. Toolbar
      5. Default keyboard shortcuts
      6. Customize keyboard shortcuts
      7. Introduction to artboards
      8. Manage artboards
      9. Customize the workspace
      10. Properties panel
      11. Set preferences
      12. Touch Workspace
      13. Microsoft Surface Dial support in Illustrator
      14. Undo edits and manage design history
      15. Rotate view
      16. Rulers, grids, and guides
      17. Accessibility in Illustrator
      18. Safe Mode
      19. View artwork
      20. Use the Touch Bar with Illustrator
      21. Files and templates
    3. Tools in Illustrator
      1. Tools at a glance
      2. Select tools
        1. Selection
        2. Direct Selection
        3. Group Selection
        4. Magic Wand
        5. Lasso
        6. Artboard
      3. Navigate tools
        1. Hand
        2. Rotate View
        3. Zoom
      4. Paint tools
        1. Gradient
        2. Mesh
        3. Shape Builder
      5. Text tools
        1. Type
        2. Type on a Path
        3. Vertical Type
      6. Draw tools
        1. Pen
        2. Add Anchor Point
        3. Delete Anchor Point
        4. Anchor Point
        5. Curvature
        6. Line Segment
        7. Rectangle
        8. Rounded Rectangle
        9. Ellipse
        10. Polygon
        11. Star
        12. Paintbrush
        13. Blob Brush
        14. Pencil
        15. Shaper
        16. Slice
      7. Modify tools
        1. Rotate
        2. Reflect
        3. Scale
        4. Shear
        5. Width
        6. Free Transform
        7. Eyedropper
        8. Blend
        9. Eraser
        10. Scissors
    4. Quick actions
      1. Retro text
      2. Neon glow text
      3. Old school text
      4. Recolor
      5. Convert sketch to vector
  3. Illustrator on the iPad
    1. Introduction to Illustrator on the iPad
      1. Illustrator on the iPad overview
      2. Illustrator on the iPad FAQs
      3. System requirements | Illustrator on the iPad
      4. What you can or cannot do on Illustrator on the iPad
    2. Workspace
      1. Illustrator on the iPad workspace
      2. Touch shortcuts and gestures
      3. Keyboard shortcuts for Illustrator on the iPad
      4. Manage your app settings
    3. Documents
      1. Work with documents in Illustrator on the iPad
      2. Import Photoshop and Fresco documents
    4. Select and arrange objects
      1. Create repeat objects
      2. Blend objects
    5. Drawing
      1. Draw and edit paths
      2. Draw and edit shapes
    6. Type
      1. Work with type and fonts
      2. Create text designs along a path
      3. Add your own fonts
    7. Work with images
      1. Vectorize raster images
    8. Color
      1. Apply colors and gradients
  4. Cloud documents
    1. Basics
      1. Work with Illustrator cloud documents
      2. Share and collaborate on Illustrator cloud documents
      3. Share documents for review
      4. Upgrade cloud storage for Adobe Illustrator
      5. Illustrator cloud documents | Common questions
    2. Troubleshooting
      1. Troubleshoot create or save issues for Illustrator cloud documents
      2. Troubleshoot Illustrator cloud documents issues
  5. Add and edit content
    1. Drawing
      1. Drawing basics
      2. Edit paths
      3. Draw pixel-perfect art
      4. Draw with the Pen, Curvature, or Pencil tool
      5. Draw simple lines and shapes
      6. Image Trace
      7. Simplify a path
      8. Define perspective grids
      9. Symbolism tools and symbol sets
      10. Adjust path segments
      11. Design a flower in 5 easy steps
      12. Perspective drawing
      13. Symbols
      14. Draw pixel-aligned paths for web workflows
    2. 3D objects and materials
      1. About 3D effects in Illustrator
      2. Create 3D graphics
      3. Map artwork over 3D objects
      4. Create 3D Text
    3. Color
      1. About color
      2. Select colors
      3. Use and create swatches
      4. Adjust colors
      5. Use the Adobe Color Themes panel
      6. Color groups (harmonies)
      7. Color Themes panel
      8. Recolor your artwork
    4. Painting
      1. About painting
      2. Paint with fills and strokes
      3. Live Paint groups
      4. Gradients
      5. Brushes
      6. Transparency and blending modes
      7. Apply stroke on an object
      8. Create and edit patterns
      9. Meshes
      10. Patterns
    5. Select and arrange objects
      1. Select objects
      2. Layers
      3. Group and expand objects
      4. Move, align, and distribute objects
      5. Stack objects    
      6. Lock, hide, and delete objects
      7. Copy and duplicate objects
      8. Rotate and reflect objects
      9. Intertwine objects
    6. Reshape objects
      1. Crop images
      2. Transform objects
      3. Combine objects
      4. Cut, divide, and trim objects
      5. Puppet Warp
      6. Scale, shear, and distort objects
      7. Blend objects
      8. Reshape using envelopes
      9. Reshape objects with effects
      10. Build new shapes with Shaper and Shape Builder tools
      11. Work with Live Corners
      12. Enhanced reshape workflows with touch support
      13. Edit clipping masks
      14. Live shapes
      15. Create shapes using the Shape Builder tool
      16. Global editing
    7. Type
      1. Add text and work with type objects
      2. Create bulleted and numbered lists
      3. Manage text area
      4. Fonts and typography
      5. Format type
      6. Import and export text
      7. Format paragraphs
      8. Special characters
      9. Create type on a path
      10. Character and paragraph styles
      11. Tabs
      12. Text and type
      13. Find missing fonts (Typekit workflow)
      14. Update text from Illustrator 10
      15. Arabic and Hebrew type
      16. Fonts | FAQ and troubleshooting tips
      17. Create 3D text effect
      18. Creative typography designs
      19. Scale and rotate type
      20. Line and character spacing
      21. Hyphenation and line breaks
      22. Text enhancements
      23. Spelling and language dictionaries
      24. Format Asian characters
      25. Composers for Asian scripts
      26. Create text designs with blend objects
      27. Create a text poster using Image Trace
    8. Create special effects
      1. Work with effects
      2. Graphic styles
      3. Create a drop shadow
      4. Appearance attributes
      5. Create sketches and mosaics
      6. Drop shadows, glows, and feathering
      7. Summary of effects
    9. Web graphics
      1. Best practices for creating web graphics
      2. Graphs
      3. SVG
      4. Create animations
      5. Slices and image maps
  6. Import, export, and save
    1. Import
      1. Place multiple files
      2. Manage linked and embedded files
      3. Links information
      4. Unembed images
      5. Import artwork from Photoshop
      6. Import bitmap images
      7. Import Adobe PDF files
      8. Import EPS, DCS, and AutoCAD files
    2. Creative Cloud Libraries in Illustrator 
      1. Creative Cloud Libraries in Illustrator
    3. Save
      1. Save artwork
    4. Export
      1. Use Illustrator artwork in Photoshop
      2. Export artwork
      3. Collect assets and export in batches
      4. Package files
      5. Create Adobe PDF files
      6. Extract CSS | Illustrator CC
      7. Adobe PDF options
      8. File information and metadata
  7. Printing
    1. Prepare for printing
      1. Set up documents for printing
      2. Change the page size and orientation
      3. Specify crop marks for trimming or aligning
      4. Get started with large canvas
    2. Printing
      1. Overprint
      2. Print with color management
      3. PostScript printing
      4. Print presets
      5. Printer's marks and bleeds
      6. Print and save transparent artwork
      7. Trapping
      8. Print color separations
      9. Print gradients, meshes, and color blends
      10. White Overprint
  8. Automate tasks
    1. Data merge using the Variables panel
    2. Automation with scripts
    3. Automation with actions
  9. Troubleshooting 
    1. Crash issues
    2. Recover files after crash
    3. File issues
    4. Supported file formats
    5. GPU device driver issues
    6. Wacom device issues
    7. DLL file issues
    8. Memory issues
    9. Preferences file issues
    10. Font issues
    11. Printer issues
    12. Share crash report with Adobe
    13. Improve Illustrator performance

You can specify how words and lines break by adjusting hyphenation settings automatically, or by using the hyphenation dictionary.

Illustrator uses the same composition methods for line and word breaks that is used in Adobe InDesign. For more information on using these features, see web Help.

Adjust hyphenation automatically

The settings you choose for hyphenation affect the horizontal spacing of lines and the aesthetic appeal of type on a page. Hyphenation options determine whether words can be hyphenated and, if so, what breaks are allowable.

  1. To use automatic hyphenation, do any of the following:
    • To turn automatic hyphenation on or off, select or deselect the Hyphenate option in the Paragraph panel.

    • To apply hyphenation to specific paragraphs, first select only the paragraphs that you want to affect.

    • To choose a hyphenation dictionary, choose a language from the Language menu at the bottom of the Character panel.

  2. To specify options, choose Hyphenation from the Paragraph panel menu, and specify the following options:

    Words Longer Than _ Letters

    Specifies the minimum number of characters for hyphenated words.

    After First _ Letters And Before Last _ Letters

    Specifies the minimum number of characters at the beginning or end of a word that can be broken by a hyphen. For example, by specifying 3 for these values, aromatic would be hyphenated as aro‑ matic instead of ar‑ omatic or aromat‑ ic.

    Hyphen Limit

    Specifies the maximum number of consecutive lines on which hyphenation may occur. Zero means unlimited consecutive hyphens are allowed at ends of lines.

    Hyphenation Zone

    Specifies a distance from the right edge of a paragraph, demarcating a portion of the line where hyphenation is not allowed. A setting of 0 allows all hyphenation. This option applies only when you use the Adobe Single-line Composer.

    Hyphenate Capitalized Words

    Select to prevent capitalize words from being hyphenated.

Note:

Hyphenation settings apply only to Roman characters; double‑byte characters available in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean fonts are not affected by these settings.

Use the hyphenation dictionary

Illustrator uses Proximity language dictionaries to determine when to hyphenate words. These dictionaries let you specify a different language for as little as a single character of text. You can select a default dictionary and customize the dictionary in the Preferences dialog box.

  1. Choose Edit > Preferences > Hyphenation (Windows) or Illustrator > Preferences > Hyphenation (Mac OS).
  2. Do any of the following:
    • To choose a default hyphenation dictionary, select an option for Default Language, and click OK.

    • To add a word to the exceptions list, type the word in the New Entry box, and click Add.

    • To remove a word from the exceptions list, select the word, and click Delete.

Prevent words from breaking

You can prevent words from breaking at the end of lines—for example, proper names or words that could be misread when hyphenated. You can also keep multiple words or groups of words together—for example, clusters of initials and a last name.

  1. Select the characters you want to prevent from breaking.
  2. Choose No Break from the Character panel menu.
    Note:

    If you apply the No Break option to too many adjacent characters, the text may wrap in the middle of a word. However, if you apply the No Break option to more than a single line of text, none of the text will appear.

Composition methods

The appearance of type on the page depends on a complex interaction of processes called composition. Using the word spacing, letterspacing, glyph spacing, and hyphenation options you’ve selected, Adobe applications evaluate possible line breaks and choose the one that best supports the specified parameters.

You can choose between two composition methods: the Adobe Every‑line Composer and the Adobe Single‑line Composer. Both methods evaluate possible breaks and choose the one that best supports the hyphenation and justification options you’ve specified for a given paragraph. The composition method affects only the selected paragraph or paragraphs, so you can easily set different composition methods for different paragraphs.

Every‑line Composer

The Every‑line Composer considers a network of break points for a range of lines and thus can optimize earlier lines in the paragraph in order to eliminate especially unattractive breaks later on.

The Every‑line Composer approaches composition by identifying possible break points, evaluating them, and assigning a weighted penalty based on the following principles:

  • For left-, right-, or center-aligned text, lines that fall closer to the right side are favored and have a lower penalty.

  • For justified text, the highest importance is given to evenness of letter and word spacing.

  • Hyphenation is avoided when possible.

Single-line Composer

The Single-line composer offers a traditional approach to composing type one line at a time. This option is useful if you want manual control over how lines break. The Single‑line Composer uses the following principles when considering a breakpoint:

  • Longer lines are favored over shorter lines.

  • In justified text, compressed or expanded word spacing is preferable to hyphenation.

  • In nonjustified text, hyphenation is preferable to compressed or expanded letterspacing.

  • If spacing must be adjusted, compression is better than expansion.

    To choose one of these methods, select it from the Paragraph panel menu. To apply the method to all paragraphs, first select the type object; to apply the method to the current paragraph only, first insert the cursor in that paragraph.

Adobe logo

Sign in to your account