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Atlantis Word Processor

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Words falling at line ends sometimes are too long to fit in the remaining space. Such words are normally carried over onto the next line, but they can also be hyphenated across lines. With proper hyphenation of words across lines, your documents will have a more polished and professional look. To hyphenate a word across lines is to divide it between two lines of text using a hyphen. End-of-line hyphenation will help you reduce the raggedness of the right margin in left-aligned text and eliminate gaps or so-called "rivers of white" in justified text. Hyphenation will also help you maintain even line lengths in narrow columns. Here is a sample text by way of illustration:

There are two ways of hyphenating documents in Atlantis, automatically or manually. However, note that Manual and Automatic Hyphenation cannot be run concurrently. Automatic Hyphenation will be switched off for the active document if you choose Manual Hyphenation.

Hyphenation can also be customized and controlled in various ways. Read on for details.

Automatic Hyphenation

When Automatic Hyphenation is set for a document, end-of-line words are automatically hyphenated across lines as a background task. You only have to write text. Words will automatically be hyphenated across lines as you type. Hyphenation will also be updated automatically as you make changes to the text and lines are wrapped differently. Note that hyphens inserted through Automatic Hyphenation will never be saved with the document. They are simply (re)inserted whenever you create or open a document whose Automatically hyphenate document attribute is set to on in the Tools | Hyphenation... dialog. Accordingly, you will remove all automatically inserted hyphens from a document simply by switching Automatic Hyphenation off for that document. Automatic Hyphenation is a "live" feature.

Once set, Automatic Hyphenation becomes a permanent characteristic of a document until you toggle it off. In other words, if you set Automatic Hyphenation on for a document, that document will automatically be re-hyphenated each time you (re)open and edit it. The Automatic Hyphenation attribute is saved with all other attributes of a document. If you do not want a document to be automatically re-hyphenated, you have to toggle Automatic Hyphenation off for that document before saving it.

Note that Automatic Hyphenation doesn't normally re-hyphenate words for which optional hyphens have already been defined manually (if we leave aside special cases when a word is broken over multiple lines in a document with very narrow columns). Words containing manually inserted optional hyphens will be hyphenated accordingly and not with their default automatic hyphenation patterns. As a rule, manually inserted hyphenation overrides automatic hyphenation.

Here is how to toggle Automatic Hyphenation ON for the active document:

  • Bring up the Tools | Hyphenation... dialog.
  • Check the Automatically hyphenate document box.
  • Set all hyphenation-related options as desired.
  • Click OK.

As mentioned above, a number of hyphenation-related options are present in the Hyphenation dialog (Tools | Hyphenation... command).

You can specify whether you want Atlantis to hyphenate words written all in capitals or if you want them left out of the hyphenation process. You can limit the number of consecutive end-of-line hyphens.

You can also define a so called hyphenation zone. This is the amount of blank space that Atlantis can leave between the last word in a line and the right margin. The more blank space can be left, the less words will be hyphenated across lines to fill in the gaps. Conversely, you will define a narrow blank strip, i.e. a small hyphenation zone, if you want end-of-line hyphens to be used extensively and thus reduce the raggedness of the right margin in left-aligned text or white gaps in justified text.

Click here to get detailed information on the options found in the Hyphenation dialog.

Here is how to toggle Automatic Hyphenation OFF for the active document:

  • Bring up the Tools | Hyphenation... dialog.
  • Clear the Automatically hyphenate document box.
  • Click OK.

Remember that all hyphens previously inserted by Automatic Hyphenation in a document are removed when you turn Automatic Hyphenation off for that document.

Important!  Obviously hyphenation patterns are language-dependent. Accordingly, setting a proper language coding for your documents—as indicated in the status bar of Atlantis—is of paramount importance for the good functioning of the Atlantis Automatic Hyphenation feature, just as it is important for the other Atlantis proofing tools (spellchecking, AutoCorrect). You will not get proper hyphenation unless you specify a correct language coding for the text of your documents.

Combining Automatic and purely manual hyphenation

Optional hyphens are inserted by Manual Hyphenation but can also be inserted into words in a purely manual way by users. This can be done through:

  • the Insert | Symbol... dialog (Special Symbols tab),
  • the drop-down menu attached to the Insert symbol Button image toolbar button,
  • the associated hot key (ShiftAltHyphen by default).

As mentioned earlier, Manual Hyphenation and Automatic Hyphenation cannot be run concurrently in Atlantis. However, optional hyphens can still be added manually to words in a document where Automatic Hyphenation is enabled if they are inserted in the purely manual way described right above. You have here a powerful way to control hyphenation in Atlantis and combine Automatic and purely manual hyphenation. The hyphenation patterns inserted in such a purely manual way will override the built-in patterns of Automatic Hyphenation.

Also do not forget that you can define and record custom hyphenation patterns for particular words. See "Customizing hyphenation patterns" below for details.

Hyphenating documents in another language

The Automatic Hyphenation feature of Atlantis currently supports only the English and French languages. Support for more languages will be added in the future.

However, Manual Hyphenation can always be launched for a document in any unsupported language. You will get no suggestions from Atlantis as to where hyphens should be placed. But you will be able to specify where hyphens are to be inserted to break words falling at the end of a line.

Also note that fragments of documents marked with the <None> language are always skipped over by either Automatic or Manual Hyphenation.

Customizing hyphenation patterns

The Atlantis Automatic Hyphenation feature is designed to suggest proper hyphenation patterns based on the linguistic rules and traditions of a particular language. You might never have or wish to change these suggested patterns. But then, if the Atlantis Automatic Hyphenation ever produced unexpected results for particular words, or if you'd rather use your own hyphenation rules, you will always be able to customize the Automatic Hyphenation feature of Atlantis to make it work according to your own preferences. For this, a Customize... button is available in the Hyphenation dialog (Tools | Hyphenation... command). It brings up the Customize Hyphenation dialog where you can specify custom hyphenation patterns to be used by Automatic Hyphenation in Atlantis:

All custom patterns found in the currently loaded list will automatically substitute for the default patterns normally used or suggested by Atlantis.

Click here to get detailed information on how to define and use customized hyphenation patterns in Atlantis.

Manual Hyphenation

The Atlantis Automatic Hyphenation feature should provide proper hyphenation across lines for most documents. But with particular documents or fragments of documents, you might wish to insert hyphens in a different way, according to your own rules. This is done using Manual Hyphenation.

Important!  We recommend postponing manual hyphenation until after you have finished editing documents. Otherwise, you might need to re-hyphenate these documents if you make changes that affect line wrapping. New words might fall at line ends, requiring hyphenation.

Here is how to launch Manual Hyphenation in Atlantis:

  1. Make a selection if you want to hyphenate only a portion of the document, or leave the whole document unselected if you want to hyphenate it all,
  2. Bring up the Tools | Hyphenation... dialog,
  3. Press the Manual... button.

When Manual Hyphenation is on, Atlantis searches for end-of-line words that need hyphenating, then suggests possible hyphenation. You can accept or reject hyphenation for each such word that it finds. You can also specify a different hyphenation position, if desired:

Click here to get detailed information on how to use the above Manual Hyphenation dialog.

All hyphens inserted by Manual Hyphenation are optional hyphens (the so-called "soft" hyphens). Being optional hyphens, they will only show for as long as the corresponding words remain hyphenated across lines. But then you might make changes that affect line wrapping in a document previously hyphenated with the Manual Hyphenation feature. Some of the previously hyphenated words might no longer fall at the end of a line and will no more require hyphenation. In this case, Atlantis will no longer display actual hyphens for these words. Click here for more information on optional hyphens.

Also note that Manual Hyphenation automatically removes any previously inserted optional hyphen from the current word when you click Hyphenate or Do not hyphenate in the Manual Hyphenation dialog. In other words, all words re-hyphenated by Manual Hyphenation are systematically cleared of any previously inserted optional hyphen. The new hyphenation patterns that you define with Manual Hyphenation always substitute for any previously used pattern.

Optional hyphens

In many ways, optional hyphens are only position markers, that is special symbols indicating where words can be broken and where actual hyphens will be inserted at line ends when words are hyphenated across lines. Optional hyphens will normally show in the document window as actual hyphens only if they are used at line ends to break words. Optional hyphens placed in unbroken words will not normally show in the document window. However—being special symbols—all optional hyphens will display if the View | Special Symbols mode is on. They will display irrespective of whether they indicate virtual positions or are associated with actual hyphens. Both are shown using the following S-shaped special marks:

Being special symbols, optional hyphens are saved to RTF, COD, DOC, or DOCX files just like paragraph end marks or section breaks. Their positions are saved within documents, ready to be used when these are reopened and modified.

Finally, remember that optional hyphens inserted in a purely manual way or through the Atlantis Manual Hyphenation feature are left untouched by Automatic Hyphenation. Only the Atlantis Manual Hyphenation feature or your own manual intervention can move or remove manually inserted optional hyphens. Click here to get detailed information on how to remove hyphenation from a document.

Hyphenating only part of a document

With Automatic Hyphenation

To hyphenate only part of a document using Automatic Hyphenation, you need to exclude all irrelevant paragraphs from hyphenation first. Here is how to proceed:

  1. Select the paragraph(s) that you do not want hyphenated.
  2. Bring up the Format | Paragraph... dialog and click the Line and Page Breaks tab.
  3. Check the Do not hyphenate box.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Repeat step 1 through 4 for each new paragraph(s) that you do not want hyphenated in the current document.

Only then launch Automatic Hyphenation (see Automatic Hyphenation topic above).

With Manual Hyphenation

Manual Hyphenation is launched for the whole document by default. However, you can hyphenate only part of a document if you select that fragment of document first, then launch Manual Hyphenation. For instance, you might want to hyphenate a new chapter in a document whose other chapters have already been hyphenated by Manual Hyphenation. If you select the new chapter only, then launch Manual Hyphenation (Tools | Hyphenation... > Manual...), the selected chapter alone will be analyzed by Atlantis and hyphenation suggested for it.


As we have seen, Atlantis also never hyphenates text marked with the <None> language. Consequently, Hyphenation in Atlantis, both Automatic and Manual will skip over text formatted with either

  • the Do not hyphenate attribute (Format | Paragraph... dialog),
  • or the <None> language coding (Format | Language... dialog).

How to remove hyphenation

From an automatically hyphenated document

As mentioned earlier on this page, removing automatically inserted hyphens from a document is very easy. You only have to toggle off its Automatically hyphenate document attribute in the Tools | Hyphenation... dialog.

From a manually hyphenated document

As we have seen, unlike Automatic Hyphenation, Manual Hyphenation inserts optional hyphens as special symbols into words. Now let's suppose for example that you'd like to use Automatic Hyphenation only in a document previously hyphenated in a manual way. Before you can enable Automatic Hyphenation in your document, you will need to remove all previously inserted optional hyphens from it. Use the Edit | Replace... dialog for this, and replace all instances of "^-" (optional hyphens) with nothing (leave the "Replace with" field empty). Then you can enable Automatic Hyphenation in your document, if desired.

See also...