Hyphenation Consistency

Explanation

PerfectIt checks if a word that is hyphenated also appears without hyphenation (either as one word or as two).

Caution

PerfectIt has been designed to look only for exact matches. For instance, PerfectIt does not find an error if the words ‘micro-economic’ (with a hyphen) and ‘micro economics’ (without a hyphen) both appear.

Suggestion

Style guides differ as to when hyphenation is appropriate. However, authors should be consistent. A phrase that is hyphenated in one part of the document should be hyphenated in the rest of the document.

Exception 1: Adjectival Phrases

A hyphenated phrase that also appears in the predicate position will not always be hyphenated. For example, ‘hand made’ is hyphenated in (a) but not in (b):

  1. the hand-made shoes

  2. the shoes are hand made

Exception 2: Differences in Meaning

A phrase with hyphens may also appear without hyphens if the hyphen changes the meaning. For example, the meaning of ‘re-creation’ is different from ‘recreation’ and both may appear in the same document.

Customizing the Check image0

You can set preferences for hyphenation in the Always Find and Never Find tabs of the style sheet editor or you can customize the check as you work.

Note

It is important to make sure you are using the correct check for each customization:

  • Use the Hyphenation of Words check if the alternative to hyphenation is closed.

  • Use the Hyphenation of Phrases check if the alternative is open.

  • Use the En Dash or Hyphen check to specify the preferred punctuation for phrases that may be written with an en dash or with a hyphen.

  • Use the En Dash or Space check to specify the preferred punctuation for phrases that may be written with an en dash or with a space.

  • Add any prefixes that you wish PerfectIt to check to the compound prefixes part of the Compound Words check.