InDesign Hyphenation Domination, Part 3: Turn it Off

No Hyphenation; No Worries! Right?

Screen shot of narrow text column with no hyphenation enabled
Disabling hyphenation in justified text can create rivers in narrow columns

Well, yes … and no. Some discretion is advised.

If your text is fully justified, you run the risk of creating distracting rivers the width of the Amazon in the text, especially if the columns areĀ  narrow. And, be advised, in order to keep the text flowing, InDesign will force a break somewhere in a word that exceeds the column width, even with hyphenation disabled. And it will not use standard hyphenation rules to do so.

If this is your only option, there are a number of steps you can take to make the text look better. You can:

  • Change Kerning from Metrics to Optical
  • Play with the Word and Letter Spacing in the Paragraph Justification panel (more leeway = better spacing)
  • Switch from Paragraph Composer to Single Line Composer and adjusting the tracking (track whole paragraphs if Paragraph Composer is used; track single lines if the other option is chosen)

Continue reading InDesign Hyphenation Domination, Part 3: Turn it Off