How to Stop Hyphenation in Illustrator

By Elizabeth Mott

You're working in an Adobe Illustrator CS5 document that contains area text -- text you created by choosing the "Type" tool, clicking and dragging to define an area into which to put your text, then typing or pasting in your copy. You've styled and formatted your text by choosing a typeface, setting size and leading, applying color, and emphasizing words in bolder or italicized members of the typeface family you're using. To your displeasure, Adobe Illustrator has hyphenated some of your text. Fortunately, Adobe Illustrator provides two ways to stop your text from hyphenating.

Paragraph-Level Hypenation Overrides

Step 1

Select the text you want to keep from hyphenating. To stop some but not all of the text in your text frame from hyphenating, choose the "Type" tool from the toolbox and select only the text you want to keep unhyphenated. To stop all the text in the text frame from hyphenating, select the text frame itself with the "Selection" tool.

Step 2

Choose "Paragraph" from the "Type" fly-out of the "Window" menu to open the "Paragraph" panel if it is not already visible on your screen. Select "Hyphenation" from the fly-out menu of the "Paragraph" panel.

Step 3

Uncheck "Hyphenation" at the top of the "Hyphenation" dialog box to turn this feature off for your selected text or text frame. Turn on the "Preview" check box to monitor the effect of your settings and confirm that the text looks the way you want it to appear.

Step 4

Click on the "OK" button to accept your "Hyphenation" settings and return to your document. Your chosen text no longer hyphenates.

Character-Level Hyphenation Overrides

Step 1

Choose the "Type" tool from the toolbox and select the characters or words you want to keep from hyphenating. Select only as much of your paragraph as you want to keep together or stop from hyphenating.

Step 2

Choose "Character" from the "Type" fly-out of the "Window" menu to open the "Character" panel if it is not already visible on your screen. Select "No Break" from the fly-out menu of the "Character" panel.

Step 3

Check the effect of your hyphenation change to make sure the achieves the look you want. If it does not, choose "Undo Type Style" from the "Edit" menu or press "Control + Z" (Windows) or "Command + Z" (Mac) to issue the undo command from your keyboard.

Step 4

Reselect more or fewer characters or words. Select "No Break" again from the fly-out menu of the "Character" panel.

Tips & Warnings

  • To change the hyphenation settings for one word that appears frequently in your text, bring up Adobe Illustrator's hyphenation dictionary in the application's preferences, type the word into the "New Entry" box and add it to the "Exceptions" list.
  • You may be able to improve overall hyphenation for short blocks of text with short line lengths by switching an individual paragraph or text frame to a different text composer in the fly-out menu of the "Paragraph" panel. Experiment with the "Single-Line Composer" and the "Every-Line Composer" to see which gives the best results for a troublesome piece of text.
  • Don't apply "No Break" to more than one line of text. Your text will disappear if you do so.
  • Applying "No Break" to too many individual characters in a row may cause Adobe Illustrator to wrap the line of text in the middle of a word.
  • If you add carriage returns to force your text to break before specific words, then change your typeface or style later on, your line breaks may be in the wrong places. Avoid this technique if at all possible.