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I am using beamer in LaTeX to create a presentation. But it seems hyphenation is disabled. At least for the items inside itemize environments and text inside the blocks I don't see any hyphenation while by eye inspection I expect LaTeX to do automatic hyphenation and produce nicer paragraphs.

Is there any specific command so that I can force LaTeX to run automatic hyphenation?

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  • 9
    Yes, it is disabled. IIRC, the standpoint on this (which one may or may not disagree with) is "if you need automatic hyphenation, you have too much text on your slides; and, like a heading, every slide warrants manual hyphenation". Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 11:23
  • 4
    I'll be even more extreme than @UlrichSchwarz: If you have more than ten words on your slides, you have too much text... Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 14:15
  • 3
    @Brent - that limit applies to each slide, or to all of them combined? ;) Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 19:58
  • 1
    So anyways is there a solution? Even for manually enabling hyphenation wherever it seems necessary?
    – MikeL
    Commented Feb 15, 2012 at 15:45
  • 1
    Simply enclose the necessary to-be-hyphenated text within a \parbox. Commented Nov 5, 2013 at 6:16

3 Answers 3

5

In some languages you will have really long words. So reducing the number of words as suggested in some comments is simply not possible. You can set a parbox around your text to get hyphenation working. e.g.:

\parbox{\linewidth}{text with possible long words to hyphenate}

Here is a fully working example using \hy{text} as a helper for reusing command several times:

\documentclass{beamer}
\usepackage[ngerman]{babel} % example language with long words                                                                                                                                                                                
\def\hy#1{\parbox{\linewidth}{#1}} % helper for using command several times                                                                                                                                                                   
\begin{document}
\begin{frame}
  \hy{Die Speicherverwaltungsadressen der heutigen
  Rechtsschutzversicherungsgesellschaften eines
  Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftsmitarbeiters haben
  siebentausendzweihundertvierundachtzig Zeilen.}
  \bigskip
  \begin{itemize}
    \item \hy{Speicherverwaltungsadressen Rechtsschutzversicherungsgesellschaften}
  \end{itemize}
\end{frame}
\end{document}

Results with and without parbox:


without hyphen


with hyphen

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    Bullet position can be repaired using position parameter for parbox: \parbox[t].
    – colidyre
    Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 13:04
  • The question of the OP is not really answered! Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 23:05
  • The question was: Is there any specific command so that I can force LaTeX to run automatic hyphenation? And imho the question is well answered by showing that using the specific command \parbox works with hyphenation.
    – colidyre
    Commented Jul 7, 2022 at 19:42
  • The suggested ´\parbox` isn't turning on automatic hyphenation in beamer. Of course there are various forms of environment changes and other local tricks that can force hyphenation but they have to be used everywhere. Commented Jul 9, 2022 at 21:16
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Actually, beamer doesn't disable hyphenation. However, as \raggedright instead of justified text is used, hyphenation becomes nearly impossible. You can use the ragged2e package which provides the \RaggedRight macro to get better results:

\documentclass{beamer}
\usepackage{ragged2e}
\let\raggedright=\RaggedRight
\usepackage{kantlipsum} % only used to generate dummy text
\begin{document}
\begin{frame}
\begin{itemize}
\item \kant[1]
\end{itemize}
\end{frame}
\end{document}

Compare the output of \raggedright and \RaggedRight:

\raggedright (no hyphenation) on the left, \RaggedRight (with hyphenation) on the right

danger Still, I totally agree with the comments you already received: If you actually need automatic hyphenation, you should probably think about reducing the amount of text on your slides!

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I guess regardless of how much text you have on the slides, you should be able to syllabify the text.

When I need to, I enclose the entire slide in a minipage environment:

\begin{frame}
\begin{minipage}[l]{\textwidth}

Lots of text, formulas and figures...

\end{minipage}
\end{frame}

Maybe not a very elegant solution, but it works for me.

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  • I agree 100% with your answer. Often at the LaTeX SE, the experts say "oh, this possibility does not exist in LaTeX because If you need to do that in LaTeX, it means you have done something wrong.". Well, I am for fully freedom for the user ´:) Thanks for this quick fix. Commented May 9 at 23:35

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