By default, Microsoft Word calculates the length of each line in a paragraph to determine where to end the line and move on to the next line with either a hyphen or space. This means that when the text length is too long for a line, Word will automatically break the line and wrap the text to the next line.

You may not want the text to break at the end of a line. For example, in case of a phone number, web address or email address – no one will like it if some part of a phone number or email address is to continue from a new line. In such a case, you need a non-breaking hyphen to make your Word document readable.

NOTE: A non-breaking hyphen is not really a hyphen, but a command not to hyphenate. When placed in front of a word, that word will not be hyphenated.

How to insert a non-breaking hyphen

To insert a non-breaking hyphen in Word:

  • Click where you want to insert the non-breaking hyphen.
  • Go to the Insert tab, in the Symbols group, click on the Symbol icon.
  • A drop-down box will open up, click on More Symbols.
Go to Insert>Symbols>More Symbols
  • From the Symbol dialog box, click on the Special Characters tab.

See screenshot:

Click on the Special Character tab
  • Click on the Non-breaking hyphen row to select it.
  • Click on the Insert button.
  • Then close the dialog box.

The above steps will insert a non-breaking hyphen into your Word document.

Non-Breaking hyphen shortcut in Word

To insert a non-breaking hyphen in Word using a keyboard shortcut:

  • Click where you want to insert the non-breaking hyphen, then press Ctrl+Shift+Minus sign.