HTML Non-Breaking Hyphen: Text Formatting Techniques for Web Design

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Have you ever noticed? Sometimes, a word contains two words in itself. Also, due to the lack of place, half of the word moves to the following line; if you read them separately, they might mean something different. To solve this problem comes the non-breaking hyphen, which has a non-breaking hyphen in itself. But what is even a non-breaking hyphen HTML? 

Simply put, an HTML non-breaking hyphen is a hyphen character that will not allow a line break to occur at that position. In most cases, if a word is longer than the width of the line, a hyphen will result in a line break. The whole term or phrase must remain on one line when using a non-breaking hyphen. 

HTML non-breaking hyphens

You can add an HTML non-breaking hyphen easily, just like Adding Bullet Points In HTML, using two methods: either a normal dash or the  &#8209 entity. Both ways display the same output. Besides this, you can also try CSS hyphenation.  

Use these hyphens in compound words, acronyms, product names, etc. Doing this may prevent words that belong together from moving to a different line, enhancing readability and uniformity, particularly for more extensive compound terms, acronyms, or product names, including links when embedding a YouTube video in HTML. Now, let’s start by taking a look at the syntax.

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HTML Non-Breaking Hyphen: Syntax

There are two ways to add an HTML non-breaking hyphen in HTML code:

1. Use the ‑ entity:

<p>Same &#8209; Line</p>

This is the non-breaking hyphen word used before HTML5.

2. Use the HTML non-breaking dash:


This is the non-breaking hyphen alt code which is just the “-” entity. This was introduced in HTML5.

Both methods produce the same result: an unbreakable hyphen – that keeps the text together on one line.

Best Practices for Using HTML Non-Breaking Hyphens

Some best practices for practical HTML non-breaking hyphen usage include:

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Methods for Inserting Non-Breaking Hyphens HTML

There are three methods to insert non-breaking hyphens in HTML:

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HTML Entity

The non-breaking hyphen HTML entity is ­. To use this method, add ­ in your HTML code where you want the non-breaking hyphen to appear.

Decimal Code

The decimal code for the non-breaking hyphen is 8209. To use this method, add ‑ in your HTML code where you want the non-breaking hyphen HTML.

Hexadecimal Code

The hexadecimal code for the non-breaking hyphen is ‑. Insert this code in your HTML as ‑ to create a non-breaking hyphen.

Example of Non-Breaking Hyphen HTML:

Using Non-Breaking Hyphens in CSS

You can use non-breaking hyphens in CSS to prevent words from breaking at specific points. You can achieve this by setting the content property with the hexadecimal code for the non-breaking hyphen and the desired word.

Example of Non-Breaking Hyphen word in CSS:

Benefits and Applications

Non-breaking hyphens offer several benefits and applications:

Keeping Compound Words Together

Non-breaking hyphens help maintain compound words, such as “mother-in-law” or “self-service,” as a single unit.

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non-breaking hyphen HTML-hyphenated words

Preventing Hyphens from Becoming HTML Non-breaking Dashes

Using non-breaking hyphens prevents situations where hyphens are automatically converted to dashes, like writing “15-20” instead of “15-20.”

CSS Text Control

In CSS, non-breaking hyphens allow precise control over text rendering, ensuring specific words remain together in a line.

Using Non-Breaking Hyphens The Right Way

To maximize the usefulness of the HTML non-breaking hyphen, there are some simple practices you’ll want to follow. Let’s walk through a few together –

Read also: Non-Breaking Hyphen In HTML: A Quick And Easy Guide

Use non-breaking hyphens for compound words

They’re perfect for keeping phrases like “mother-in-law” or “cash-on-delivery” intact on a line. The whole compound word stays unified.

Apply them to acronyms with multiple parts

Keeping the acronym together keeps things like “HTML-CSS” or “ISO-9001” readable and consistent.

Only use a non-breaking hyphen when necessary

Regular hyphens work great most of the time. Only apply a non-breaking hyphen where a traditional line break would be confusing or undesirable.

Don’t go overboard

More non-breaking hyphens can make your text easier to read. Limit usage to only what’s needed to keep keywords or phrases together.

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Apply them consistently

Use non-breaking hyphens for every instance of a phrase, not just some of the time. This keeps things neat and uniform looking.

Use them for product names

This ensures your branded names and items stay whole on the page, supporting your messaging.

brand name with hyphen

Think about readability

Consider if breaking up a phrase into two lines might aid comprehension. Use your best judgment in each case.

Test at multiple sizes

What works at one font size may cause smaller or larger text issues. Make sure you test thoroughly.

Avoid orphan words

Don’t leave short secondary words dangling alone on a line due to a non-breaking hyphen in the primary word.

Try CSS hyphenation as an alternative

CSS hyphens can consistently break long words across lines in an easy-to-read way.

CSS hyphenation

Stick to these guidelines, and your non-breaking hyphens will improve. Sticking to the guidelines will allow readability, consistency, and user experience. It’s all about thoughtful, intentional usage in the right places. 

You can craft beautiful, readable web content with that balanced approach and testing.

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Real-World Examples of Putting Non-Breaking Hyphens To Work

Let’s look at some practical examples of the HTML non-breaking hyphen in action – 

We’ve got the following:

<p> The mother-in-law and daughter relationship</p>

The non-breaking hyphen keeps “mother-in-law” together on one neat line, exactly how we want it.

Like this one:

<h3>ISO&#8209;9001 Certification</h3>

The ISO-9001 acronym stays intact as a header thanks to the non-breaking hyphen, keeping things readable and uniform.

Or this brand name:

<span class=”brand”>Smith-Johnston</span> Technology

The branded company name “Smith-Johnston” remains whole on one line, preserving the brand’s integrity.

There’s also:

<p>The buy&#8209;one&#8209;get&#8209;one&#8209;free promotion</p>

All four parts of this longer phrase are kept together with non-breaking hyphens, lining up exactly how we want.

And like this:

<p>He is the vice&#8209;president of the company.</p>

The job title “vice-president” stays unified on one neat line, just as we intended.

Do you see how versatile non-breaking hyphens are and how big of a role they play? And most of the time, we don’t even notice! They keep compound words, acronyms, brand names, phrases, and more exactly where you want them – on one readable line.

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Browser Support for HTML Non-Breaking Hyphens

All major browsers fully support the HTML non-breaking hyphen character and entities. This includes – 

  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Safari
  • Edge
  • Internet Explorer


Browsers will correctly render text with non-breaking hyphens, ensuring line breaks do not occur at those positions. You can freely use non-breaking hyphens, knowing all modern browsers will display them correctly.

Accessibility of HTML Non-Breaking Hyphen

Using HTML non-breaking hyphens does not negatively impact the accessibility of your web content. Screen readers will:

  • Correctly read text with non-breaking hyphens as one continuous word or phrase.
  • Not insert an unnatural pause at the non-breaking hyphen position.

This allows screen reader users to comprehend text using non-breaking hyphens in the same way as visual users.

Ensuring non-breaking hyphen HTML is only used when necessary to hold related words together is an excellent practice. They could cause slight accessibility concerns if used liberally.

However, using non-breaking hyphens accurately, as shown in this article, does not inherently make your HTML less accessible.

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Codes to Represent a Non-breaking Hyphen

You can use a specific code to represent a non-breaking hyphen in HTML. This unique character prevents a line of text from breaking between the hyphen and the word that follows it. By doing so, you can ensure that certain words stay together as a single unit, even when the browser window is narrow. This is especially useful for compound words or to prevent a regular hyphen from turning into a dash.

To insert a non-breaking hyphen in HTML, you have three options:

HTML Entity

In HTML, you can utilize the HTML entity “­” to implement a non-breaking hyphen. Incorporating this entity into your HTML code ensures that the text will remain unbroken, preventing any undesirable line breaks between the hyphen and the subsequent word.

Decimal Code

Using the alt code “8209” is another reliable method to maintain your content’s proper formatting and readability, especially when dealing with hyphenated words that should not be separate across different lines. Whether you choose to use the HTML entity “­” or the alt code “8209”, both approaches prevent unwanted line breaks and ensure a seamless presentation of your text.

non-breaking hyphen HTML-unicode

Hexadecimal Code

The non-breaking hyphen, represented by the HTML entity “­” or the alt code “8209”, ensures that hyphenated words remain hyphenated on the same line, preventing any disruptive line breaks between the hyphen and the following word. This is particularly crucial in cases where the hyphenation is essential for understanding the meaning of a term or phrase.

Incorporating non-breaking hyphens in HTML is a practical way to maintain the intended structure and presentation of text, ensuring that specific word combinations stay together without unwanted line breaks.

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Why Are Non-Breaking Hyphens So Handy?

Non-breaking hyphens keep related words snuggled together on the same line. They improve readability, consistency, and the look of your content. Important compound words, acronyms, and names could get split across lines without them.

When Should I Use a Non-Breaking Hyphen?

Use a non-breaking hyphen anytime you want to keep several words glued together on one line. Typical uses include compound terms, acronyms, product names, multi-part phrases, job titles, and error messages. Only apply them when truly needed to unify words.

What Alternatives Exist to Non-Breaking Hyphens?

CSS hyphens are a neat alternate way to break long words across lines in an easy-to-read manner. CSS hyphens split words at the syllable level according to language rules instead of just chopping them at random character lengths. They may be preferable for naturally dividing up big chunks of text.


In the end, proper non-breaking hyphen use adds that final polish. With all we’ve covered, you can see how properly using HTML with non-breaking hyphens can improve your web content’s look whether accessing on PC or opening HTML files on iPhone.

By keeping keywords snuggled together on one neat line – from compound words and acronyms to product names and job titles – non-breaking hyphens improve readability, consistency, and the visual presentation of your pages. Your content lines up exactly how you envision it.

But the key is using non-breaking hyphens judiciously, only where truly necessary. Test at different sizes, limit consecutive hyphens, avoid orphan words, and apply them consistently.

HTML non-breaking hyphens may be one of those understated-yet-effective finishing touches that improve the appearance, feel, and user experience of your website masterpiece when used properly and carefully.

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