TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
>Was just wondering what some of your takes are
>on using hyphens in documents to break sentences
I permit hyphenation in some contexts but deny it in others.
For guide and tutorial text, I generally enable hyphenation for most
paragraph tags, but I specify conservative standards so that
hyphenation is rare. In FrameMaker, increasing 'shortest prefix'
and 'shortest suffix' both to '4' looks about right. For words you
never want to hyphenate, such as product names, prepend
a hyphen to the entry in the site dictionary, or type Ctrl-hyphen to
deny hyphenation in a particular word. While we're at it, non-breaking
hyphens and spaces are a good habit for short compounds
like '8-bit.' I've never found a way to make a non-breaking en dash-
if someone knows a trick, that'd be great.
For most reference text, say programmer's reference pages,
I totally disable hyphenation.
Steve Pendleton, Technical Writer DeLuxe
Cognex, Acumen Products Group
"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain"