Word: Non-Breaking Hyphens and Spaces

Ever type something like a phone number in Word with hyphens, and get irritated when the phone number gets broken up on two separate lines like this?:

You can contact me any time you like! My phone number is 555-555-

Sometimes you'd prefer the number to stay together in one piece, like this:

You can contact me any time you like! My phone number is

In instances like this, most users would just press the Enter key before the phone number to make sure it's on its own line. But that's kind of sloppy, because you might add text later that makes it unnecessary for it to be the start of a line. It would be best to use what's called a "non-breaking hyphen". It's a way of putting in a hyphen and telling Word to make the ends "sticky" (so to speak) and keep everything next to it together.

How? Instead of just pressing the '-' key like you normally would, hold down 'Control', 'Shift', and '-'. This will insert a non-breaking hyphen.

You can also make a "non-breaking space" using the same technique. Just hold down 'Ctrl', 'Shift', then press the space bar. This is pretty useful for things like legal documents where an entire name needs to stay together on one line. You can put a non-breaking space in between the parts of the name to make sure they'll stay together.


  1. What you are describing is a non-breaking HYPHEN, not an EN DASH.

    1. Thanks for letting me know, I've updated the post. Learned something new today :)