Non-breaking hyphen


I’m in DESPERATE need of a non-breaking hyphen (everywhere, including index card summaries, keywords, outline view), or at least a way to tell Scrivener that “x-x” is a whole word and not to break. Writing a novel where many of my character names are one letter hyphenated with a string of others, and having them split is driving me nuts.

I asked about this in tech support to see if there was an answer I didn’t know about, but no one’s been able to give me one, so I’m guessing it doesn’t exist yet.

I can’t fathom why a non-breaking space is available (from Edit-Insert), and not a hyphen too. PLEASE ADD THIS. :slight_smile:

Also, I adore Scrivener (and Scapple now, too), and you’re doing a fabulous job. Thanks for creating such an amazing bit of software.


1: If you haven’t done so already, go to <System Preferences » Keyboard » Shortcuts>, and click on “Show input menu in menu bar”. You will then see the flag of the country whose language you have set as default towards the right hand end of the menu bar.

2: Click on that “flag” and in the menu that drops down, choose “Show Character Viewer”. In the window that appears, there is a list of glyph and symbol types that appears on the left, all the glyphs in that category in the middle pane and on the right, an enlarged version of the selected glyph showing its default kerning space along with it’s unicode no, and at the bottom a (sadly unlabelled) list of how it appears in all the fonts and font variations installed on your computer that support that glyph.

3: On the left, choose the “Punctuation” category; the non-breaking hyphen is the first glyph on the 6th row. Select that.

4: At this point, you’ll have to do a bit of experimenting to find out whether it is available in your default font or not, and if it is not, to find the version from another font which looks best with your default. Do this by having your cursor at a suitable point in a text you’re working on and then double‑clicking the ones you think might work and deleting until you find your best fit. At that point, click the button “Add to favourites” which you’ll see below the glyph and the font name in the right pane.

5: From now, how you proceed is up to you. On my system, running 10.10.4, when I choose <Edit » Emoji and Symbols> in Scrivener, it opens up that “Character Viewer” in full, (in Nisus Writer Pro, the equivalent “Special Characters” menu is different). You can either: (1) create a shortcut to the “Emoji and Symbols” menu option which will bring up the character viewer, which you set to favourites and then double-click the N-B-H; or (2) set up a shortcut through <System Preferences » Keyboard » Text> using something like - as the input, which is what I would do.

Of course, if your system language is not English, you’ll use the equivalent menu choices.

Hope that helps.


Mr X

Thank you thank you thank you! Works beautifully now.

Your instructions were awesome and very detailed. I realize now that this is a Mac hangup, and I did actually Google how to do them in Yosemite, but couldn’t find anything (plenty about non-breaking spaces, though). Thank you so much for taking the time to explain the process and workaround…just to illustrate how big of a deal this is in my book, I just replaced over 1,100 instances of this in my Scrivener project, solely character names. Now my brain doesn’t want to spaz very time I see their names split. :mrgreen:

My pleasure; glad it’s worked for you.

You’re right, it’s a System matter, not a Scrivener matter; however that “Character Viewer” is something that people should get to know as through it you can have access to every glyph available. The categories shown in the left pane by default are only a sub-set of the total available; if you click on the “gear and down-arrow” above it, below the 'traffic lights, and choose “Customise List…”, you can turn categories on and off. For instance, I switch to “All Parentheses” and “All Punctuation” and I turn on “Phonetic Alphabet”, that way I can access any rare glyph that I may want for any reason.

Good luck with the book.

Mr X