Don't Auto-Hyphenate Print Layouts When Featuring Websites

Don’t Auto-Hyphenate Print Layouts When Featuring Websites

A note to all print publishers out there: if you’re doing a layout for an article that mentions URLs, don’t auto-hyphenate.

Hyphenated URL
from Bookwatch Vol. 11, Issue 2, page 26

Hyphenated text is a elegant feature of typesetting. Auto-hyphenated text is equally ingenious, but will break usability when a URL is longer than the space alloted to it. Unlike in web design, where a long string of text will brim over its containing element by default, print design is fixed and WYSIWYG.

The photo says it all. Try visiting http://virtual-blooms.com and you’ll get nothing. Try it without the hyphen and you’ll get what the article meant to say but auto-hyphenatedly ruined. Not that people who read print even care about the websites featured.

Turn off that auto-hyphenate in your layout software, whether it’s Word, Publisher, InDesign, or QuarkXPress.

7 replies

  1. @garro
    they should just have to link it, and anchor it a shorter destination

    <a href=”http://thisisareallylongurl…”> LIKE THIS</a>

    of course, it’s published on print and will be unclickable. but that’s the audience’s problem

    Reply to this

  2. Garro, my point is, don’t put a hyphen if you’re going to break a URL into multiple lines.

    Corsarius, I think you meant to the left of the dot (com).

    Paolo, again, my point is, we’re talking about print here. And I don’t think it’s wise for a publisher to argue “it’s the audience’s problem”.

    I’m thinking they should’ve put the correct URL in a footnote spanning a longer line length, but that’s just me.

    Reply to this

  3. True, if that happens then you confuse your print readers because people will type what they see exactly. They will not even know or at times figure out that it was the hyphen that created the problem.

    Reply to this

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