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I'm transferring data from another document to an Excel document. Everything was proceeding as expected but at a certain point, anytime I paste something, Excel adds hyphens within words using the syllable structure.

This happens only in Excel, and with this I mean that if I copy that weird-formatted content to a text document, the hyphens disappear. They appear only in Excel.

  • I tried searching for some option on Excel, but no luck.
  • I tried pasting the content from a txt-only document, in order to exclude any formatting problems, but still no luck.

Did I unintentionally hit some option? How can I solve this?

Another interesting thing is that the "title" in the cell, does not get this formatting. Below is a screenshot showing an example (a single cell):


This is the text which causes that problem

Libera circolazione dei software acquistati on line

In ma­te­ria di di­rit­ti di pro­prie­tà in­du­stria­le ed in­tel­let­tua­le vige il prin­ci­pio del­l’e­sau­ri­men­to in base al quale quan­do il ti­to­la­re di un di­rit­to ha ven­du­to l’o­pe­ra che ne è espres­sio­ne si è con tale ven­di­ta pri­va­to della fa­col­tà di op­por­si alla suc­ces­si­va cir­co­la­zio­ne con la con­se­guen­za che detta opera (o pro­dot­to) può es­se­re ri­ven­du­to ad altri in modo del tutto le­ci­to.

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Which version of Excel? – BoltClock Sep 7 '12 at 11:21
Excel 2011 (Mac version). – Alenanno Sep 7 '12 at 11:22
Have you verified the cell is text and cleared all formatting from that cell(s)? Will it let you manually remove the dashes? – CharlieRB Sep 7 '12 at 11:28
@CharlieRB Manually, yes. But, as you might understand, that's not something I want to do in 2012. :D – Alenanno Sep 7 '12 at 11:28
Don't read too much into my comment. It is a question to see if the program is allowing them to be removed or replacing them if removed, which helps me understand what the program is doing. Asking for more detail helps to give a better answer. :-) – CharlieRB Sep 7 '12 at 11:32

Too late to help you I know but: Use the substitute function to substititue all instances of char 173 with nothing, then copy the resultant text and paste special: values to remove the formula and retain just the corrected text.

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Can you add more details on the "substitute function"? This will make your answer more useful to readers. – bwDraco Jan 22 '15 at 18:46

These appear to be soft hyphens. Soft hyphens are always displayed in cells because cells don't wrap their content naturally. They disappear in web pages and when pasted into word processors because their text formatting engines support soft hyphenation.

In your case, there are no soft hyphens in your title, only in the body text.

The simplest way to remove the soft hyphens forcibly would be to replace them all with empty strings, but if you want to keep the soft hyphens while hiding them in areas that don't wrap, I'm not entirely sure of a solution, as cells in Excel don't support soft hyphenation at all (not even if you force them to wrap text in the Format Cells dialog).

I did find this, however:

In Excel, soft hyphens work in text boxes (inserted from the Insert tab of the ribbon) and in ActiveX text boxes (from the Developer tab of the ribbon) with multiline and wordwrap set to True, but not in cells.

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