Sentiments towards hy-phen-ation

I was wondering how established writers feel towards the auto-splitting of words at the end of a line, and whether there is some cocoa-approved way that implements this in Scrivener (I think Mellel has this, or at least a plug-in for it, but I’m not sure if that’s cocoa).

I think it looks neater if you are writing in the ‘justify’-alignment style, but maybe that’s just me. Is this a good thing to have when writing stuff “for the public?” Or does nobody care? :slight_smile:

Given that Scrivener isn’t for final formatting and text justification is a final formatting sort of thing, I doubt this’ll be a Scrivener feature.

That said, word hyphenation and text justification is a tricky business. I’m mostly familiar with text justification in LaTeX (where it’s calculated at processing time and you still occasionally have to tell it where it can split a word, or rephrase so a split point is near enough the end of a line) and MS Word (where it’s live, really incredibly ugly, and doesn’t have any significant word splitting ability that I’ve ever noticed).

The cocoa ruler (cmd-R) has a text justification mode, but I’m not sure it’ll do word splitting any more than MS Word does. (My quick test indicates that it doesn’t.)

I format essentially all of my writing ragged right, with no hyphenation. The publisher’s page layout program is likely to change everything anyway, so why bother with the extra step?

Naturally, hyphenation is something you need to think about if you’re doing the page layout yourself. In that case, however, Scrivener is probably the wrong tool.


Justified does look neater, but you are better off drafting in ragged-right, since that’s the format most journal and book publishers will require. If you are creating camera-ready copy, then justification and hyphenation are useful because they regularize word and line spaces. For that kind of formatting, it’s best to use a word-processor. Scrivener is ideal for brainstorming, outlining, and drafting.

A clear consensus! Well that solves it for me, thanks!