Word breaks some words strangely for me. I am aware that I can manually hyphenate words to add custom hyphens at specific locations in a word – but what I'm looking for is the ability to remove preset hyphens at specific locations.

For example, imagine Word breaking "Kafkaesque" like this:


But I want it to break like this:


So the hyphen should show before the first letter "e", not after. I've added a manual hyphen before the "e" using the manual-hyphenation dialog but the spacing in that line is such that this has had no effect.

Ideally, Word would retain all the other hyphens it would automatically place for a word (except for the one hyphen I don't want, of course). There is a way to just turn off hyphenation for a word altogether and then I could place custom hyphens at all places in that word, but it's not preferred.

This is Word for mac version 16.46. My document language is set to German, if it matters (the "Kafkaesque" stuff is just an English example, Word might not actually do it with that word – if you need something reproducible use "Memevolution" at the end of a line and be sure to set the language to German, it will break as "Meme-volution" instead of "Mem-evolution").

  • How is Memevolution a German word? Can you give a concrete example, since I couldn't create one?
    – ikaerom
    Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 15:11
  • Even for your Kafkaesque example, there is no way I can trigger any wrong hyphenation behavior: image.png
    – ikaerom
    Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 15:36
  • @Moreaki Duden can't list every possible compound noun. "Memevolution" is just "Mem" (German for "meme") + "Evolution". In terms of an example, if you're trying to reproduce the issue, you can use arbitrary text in a single line, as long as that line ends in "Memevolution" and the language is set to German, then type a few more arbitrary characters before that word to force Word to hyphenate it at the end of the line. Example Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 22:22
  • @Moreaki Btw, the hyphenation "Meme-volution" technically isn't wrong, it's just very misleading because the plural of "Mem" is "Meme" so the reader may easily attribute the letter "e" to the wrong part-word. Regarding "Kafkaesque", I did point out that Word may not reproduce the issue for that word. Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 22:25
  • In fact, "Mem" and "Meme" are both valid for the singular case, and the plural would be Memes. Microsoft takes a while to update their rules, and I strongly suspect this is a tough one to get automatically correct, since Evolution also starts with an 'e', so your compound noun could be wrongly tokenized, even if you use "Memeevolution". If it's important, I'd open an issue report. I couldn't make up another compound word that Word missed in hyphenation besides "Teilevolution", so I suspect this is a bug. Not even setting the Hyphenation zone changes this.
    – ikaerom
    Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 23:25


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