I believe what you want to do is make hyphens behave as if they were ordinary characters (letters, digits, or other punctuation marks), so, for example,
The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy well-fed dog.
will render as
| The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy |
| well-fed dog. |
| The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy well- |
| fed dog. |
In other words, you want nonbreaking hyphens. <edit>If this isn't what you want, please clarify what you want.</edit> MS Word will give you a nonbreaking hyphen if you type Ctrl+Shift+-. (You may also see this documented as Ctrl+Shift+_.) The obvious solution is to do a Find and Replace and change all ordinary hyphens in your table to nonbreaking hyphens.
Unfortunately, the Find and Replace dialog box doesn’t seem to allow you to enter nonbreaking hyphens. Fortunately, you can do it semi-manually. (You will have to decide whether this is feasible, based on the size of your table.)
- First, paste your text into Microsoft Word (i.e., into your table).
- In Microsoft Word, type Ctrl+F,
-, Enter, and Esc. In other words, search for the first hyphen in the table.
- Type Ctrl+Shift+- to replace it with a nonbreaking hyphen.
- Type Shift+← to select it (or do it with the mouse) and type Ctrl+C to Copy it (or do it with the mouse; i.e., the Copy button or the right-click menu).
- Type Shift+F4 to find the next hyphen.
- Type Ctrl+V to Paste the nonbreaking hyphen from the Clipboard (or do it with the mouse; i.e., the Paste button or the right-click menu).
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you have found (and replaced) all the hyphens in your table.
Perhaps one of our VBA wizards will be able to automate this, or somebody will know a workaround for the Find and Replace dialog box defect.