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Instead of breaking at the word breaks in a CamelCase word, MS Word wants to put in breaks in really stupid locations - not even where the breaks are in the words if they were standalone. Under the layout ribbon there's a "hyphenation" button, and under "manual" you can pick a break point, but you can only pick from it's stupid options. You can't tell it some are bad or insert new ones. For example look at

GeneOrGeneProductOrVariant

you get breaks in these locations:

Ge-neOrGenePro-duc-tOrVar-i-ant.

The only other options I see in the hyphenation menu appears to turn it off globally for the document?

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  • Using Word 2007 on Windows, I get no hyphenation alternatives for the sample word, if text language is set to US English. With language set to British English, I get Ge-neOrGene-Pro-duc-tOr-Var-iant. Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 6:43
  • Interesting. I would assume I'm US English, but I've never bothered to check. I'll have to go look. Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 20:24
  • The answers below are helpful. It's a shame there isn't the equivalent of the spell-checking dictionary where we could add custom hyphenation. Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 20:34
  • ++ for describing M$ Word as stupid - a well deserved description
    – user234461
    Commented May 14, 2018 at 13:37

2 Answers 2

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You can manually insert hyphenation hints with Ctrl - (Control hyphen) at suitable points. If a word contains sufficiently many hints, Word applies only those hyphenation opportunities, both when hyphenation has been set to automatic and when it has been set to manual.

The downside is that this needs to be done for every occurrence of the word. However, the hyphenation hints are preserved if you copy and paste texts.

Caveat: Word internally uses a control character as the hyphenation hint (not the Unicode soft hyphen U++00AD character). This may cause problems when text is copied from Word to other programs.

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  • ctrl hyphen doesn't seem to do anything on Mac Office. But I was able to get ahold of one of those control characters and copy and paste it where I wanted it. Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 20:33
  • The method should work on Mac, too, just with the Command key (⌘) being used instead of the Ctrl key as usual. Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 4:53
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It look like you can set a specific word to not get hyphenated:

Manually: Select the word and go to Review | Language | Language and check the box for "Do not check spelling or grammar."

From here.

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  • This is useful, although in a two column layout this could end up costing a lot of space. Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 20:33

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