Show how InDesign breaks words

The script works in either of two modes. If you have no document open, or if you have a document open and nothing selected, the script displays a dialog into which you enter a word:

hyphenation check

Type the word you want to check at Word to hyphenate: and press Enter. At Hyphenated: you see how InDesign would hyphenate the word. If the word is in the exception list of the selected language, that hyphenation is used (and (*) is added to show it's in the exception list); if not, you'll see the result of InDesign's hyphenation algorithm.

At Language: the script selects the current language. To set a different language, select it from the dropdown (this remains the selected language only while the script is running). On selecting a different language, the displayed word is hyphenated again so that you can easily compare two language variants.

The dialog stays on the screen so that you can check other words. Press the close button in the dialog's frame to stop.

Processing a list

Instead of single words you could also hyphenate a list. Type words in a text frame, one word per line. Then select either the text frame or something in the frame (insertion point, range, whatever) and run the script. Swung dashes are inserted in all places where InDesign could break the words:

hyphenation check

Finding hyphenation points is time-consuming business, so that long lists can take some time to process. Try short lists first.

Note: The current settings in the Hyphenation dialog (don't break words shorter than x letters, break after the first y letters, etc.) influence the way the script shows the hyphenated words.

Useful script? Saved you lots of time?

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Version history

14 Jan. 2015: The script now first checks if a word is in the user dictionary (aka the exception list). If it's found, its hyphenation points are shown; if the word is not in the dictionary, ID's algorithm is used. In addition, various improvements.

18 May 2012: (1) It appeared that in some words, some hyphenation points were missed; fixed. (2) On selecting a different language, the displayed word is re-hyphenated.

2 June 2010: Fixed issue with display of language list in the interface.

Show script (right click, Save Link/Target As to download)

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Installing and running scripts

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