Remember them? If not, here’s a link to read about the Typewriter — which is exactly why you shouldn’t underline any more.
Why? Because today, it represents a hyper link. When people see one, they think it’s a link that’ll take them to a page on a website. You have better options to highlight text such as bolding, italicizing and using color.
Many non-designers pay little attention to how their text is hyphenated. It can be the difference between “just okay” or good type. Proper hyphenation is crucial for optimum readability. Hyphens can make your copy harder to read, and if too many happen in a paragraph — or worse, several consecutive times in a paragraph — readability suffers even more.
Hyphenated words are sometime a necessary evil. But try to avoid them at all cost. The first and easiest approach: adjust your settings. Most applications default to hyphenate automatically. Instead, set this to “off.” Problem solved.
This might cause a large gap or space in your paragraph rags (the right edge of your text), which is not good typography. The easiest way to fix this? Consider rewriting the sentence first.
If rewriting is not possible, consider an optional or soft hyphen. An optional hyphen is used to control where a word or phrase breaks at the end of a line. When you insert an optional hyphen in a word not at the end of a line, the word will look normal. But if that word appears at the end of a line, it’ll break where you set the soft hyphen.
Why use a soft hyphen? Have you ever manually hyphenated a word and then edit the text early in that paragraph? The manually hyphenated word now shows up in the middle of the page with a hyphen — you now need to remove it. A soft hyphen would automatically remove itself.
In Microsoft Word, you can insert a soft hyphen click in the word where you want to insert the optional hyphen and press CTRL+HYPHEN. Almost all applications have this ability. This is the best way to control your hyphenation at the end of lines.
Here are the basic rules for using hyphens:
- Don’t have more than two hyphenations in a row.
- Don’t have too many hyphenated line endings in a single paragraph, even if they’re not in successive rows.
- Check the “rag” (the right edge of the text) for any glaring holes, words that “stick out” unattractively. A good rag has gentle in-and-out as the eye travels down the text.
In Review …
Don’t center too often.
It makes your text hard to read.
Especially if you have more than
a few lines.
Justified type can be difficult to read too and if possible should be avoided.
is a very helpful way to
group your thoughts together.
Underlining will confuse your modern-day reader into thinking there’s an online link attached (and also tell everyone you’re an old-school dinosaur).
Hyphens-are-not-a-good-thing-except when they appear at the end of a line break to help read-ers know that the sentence continues.