In some circumstances, for example, B.~Alexander may result in B. Alexan-newlineder. Is this acceptable?

If not, is there an elegant way to suppress it? (\hyphenation is too cumbersome and sometimes inflexible.)

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    Why is the usage of \hyphenation too cumbersome? I would say it is easy to just add all the name(s) in \hyphenation{Alexander} in your preamble, no? Commented Jun 4, 2014 at 9:19

3 Answers 3


Whether proper names may or should not be hyphenated is a matter of style. I found several publishing houses that discourage it, among them University of Houston. UH says their style comes from the Associated Press Stylebook (non-free).


You can also type \uchyph=0 to systematically prohibit the hyphenation of words beginning with an uppercase letter.

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    Not usable in German, I'm afraid :)
    – cgnieder
    Commented Nov 17, 2015 at 22:55

You can use an \mbox to avoid hyphenation of the name:

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    Did you mean B.~\mbox{Alexander}?
    – ȷ̇c
    Commented Apr 14, 2011 at 11:13
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    The ~ inserts a non-breaking space between B. and Alexander. Alexander is already protected by the mbox, so the result of both variants should be the same. If you decide to define a command that typesets a person's name, you would probably put all the name's parts into one mbox anyway, as a start.
    – Christoph
    Commented Apr 14, 2011 at 11:19
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    @Christoph, actually, there is a difference: in \mbox{B.~Alexander} the space is set at its 'natural' width: it can't stretch or shrink along with the other spaces on the line.
    – Lev Bishop
    Commented Apr 14, 2011 at 13:15
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    @Christoph: those seem good if you want to avoid hyphenating names. Personally, I usually just write Lev Bishop and L.~Bishop because if a tex chooses to hyphenate a name then it is usually the least bad of the possible ways to break a line, and forcing the issue with mboxes just makes an over/underfull line.
    – Lev Bishop
    Commented Apr 14, 2011 at 13:42
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    @levesque: When I see a bad box appearing around such a non-hyphenated name, it was my choice to get that bad box in the first place. If it is really disturbing to the eye, I try re-phrasing the surrounding text based on the assumption (or fact) that my wording was not optimal anyway. microtype helps.
    – Christoph
    Commented Apr 2, 2012 at 19:03

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