I have a long URL. I use the package breakurl, and it works fine outside of an enumerate environment, but not when it is on an \item.

\item svn co \burl{https://svn.xxx.ch/reps/yyyyyyyyyy/Publications/ABC-paper-2012/trunk ABC-paper-2012}

How can I give the URL a line break?

Edit: If I remove margin=3cm, it works properly. It seems to be an interaction between geometry and breakurl.

  • 1
    The problem with all the answers, I think, provided to this question is that (when a certain URL is broken across multiple lines) every PDF viewer which I tried will only highlight that line of the URL which one is clicking on (and not the complete URL), which is confusing. Anybody knows how to fix it?
    – O0123
    Commented Apr 16, 2016 at 22:12

5 Answers 5


Update Jan 2022: Back when I originally wrote this answer, the xurl package -- so named, presumably, because it greatly extends the capabilities of the url package -- hadn't been written yet. However, it exists now, and that's why I would no longer recommend the answer shown below, i.e., running


Instead, I would just run


Quoting from the introductory section of the user guide of the xurl package:

Package xurl loads package url by default and defines possible [line breaks in URLs] for all alphanumerical characters and = / . : * - ~ ' "

All arguments which are valid for [the] url [package] can be used. It will be passed to package url. xurl itself has no special optional argument. For more information read the documentation of package url.

Note that it is not necessary to specify the package option hyphens to allow line breaks to occur at the - (hyphen) character. If you want to allow line breaks to occur at spaces in a URL string, while not suppressing spaces elsewhere in the URL string, be sure to load xurl with the options spaces and obeyspaces.

It should be noted up front that the long-URL issues you are encountering can arise regardless of whether the URL occurs inside an enumerate environment or not.

By default, if a URL string contains a hyphen character, neither \burl of the breakurl package nor \url of the url package will insert a linebreak after a hyphen character. (This setting is chosen to avoid ambiguities over whether the hyphen character is a part of the URL string or not.) To override the default setting, load the breakurl package with the hyphenbreaks option or, equivalently, load the url package with the hyphens option set (and use the command \url instead of \burl, of course).

However, even with the hyphenbreaks/hyphens options set, overfull lines can still occur. An additional measure you may have to take is to issue the command \sloppy. This directive lets TeX expand the amount of interword whitespace (almost) arbitrarily to support its efforts to avoid overfull lines.

The following, modified form of your MWE shows how this works. The packages breakurl and url are loaded with the options hyphenbreaks and hyphens, respectively. Even so, the first two items in the enumeration, which use the \burl and \url commands, produce overfull lines. In contrast, the third and fourth items, for which the directive \sloppy is in effect, do not produce overfull lines. (By the way, in this MWE the scope of the \sloppy directive ends at the \end{enumerate} statement.)

\usepackage{lipsum} % load paragraphs of filler text

\lipsum[2] % generate some filler text (to show width of text block)

svn co \burl{https://svn.xxx.ch/reps/yyyyyyyyyy/Publications/ABC-paper-2012/trunk ABC-paper-2012}
svn co \url{https://svn.xxx.ch/reps/yyyyyyyyyy/Publications/ABC-paper-2012/trunk ABC-paper-2012}
svn co \burl{https://svn.xxx.ch/reps/yyyyyyyyyy/Publications/ABC-paper-2012/trunk ABC-paper-2012}
svn co \url{https://svn.xxx.ch/reps/yyyyyyyyyy/Publications/ABC-paper-2012/trunk ABC-paper-2012}

enter image description here

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    @Barth You can use \begin{sloppypar}...\end{sloppypar} to turn \sloppy on for just a part of the document. Commented May 8, 2012 at 16:58
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    @FEQ - The web address svn.xxx.ch that the OP provided (and which I re-used in my answer) isn't active -- and, as far as I can tell, never was. Furthermore, the code in my answer doesn't load the hyperref package; hence, any hyperlinks that may exist are provided by the pdf file browser you use rather than by LaTeX and friends. Please clarify what you're trying to achieve.
    – Mico
    Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 23:30
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    @Mico Thanks! You already gave me an answer! Yes the hyperlink was from my PDF viewer and when I loaded hyperref, it went all okay.
    – Chang
    Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 3:19
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    @Garonenur - If you use pdflatex and compile directly to pdf, you don't need the breakurl package at all. A combination of \usepackage[hyphens]{url} in the preamble and \sloppy directives (as needed) should do the job.
    – Mico
    Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 9:14
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    @Mico - yes and no, it breaks the links, but doesn't do a very good job, I still get overfull boxes for a link that spans more than one line length. (it can't be shortened in that case.) I just would like to be able to define more breaking chars.
    – Garonenur
    Commented Oct 31, 2015 at 14:32

None of the answers helped me out. My long url was placed in a footnote. After searching around I found a working solution here.

In my preamble:


The last line instructs the url-package which is loaded with the hyperref-package to additionally break at the characters / and -. The option breaklinks=true in hyperref can be invoked too but for me it had no effect.

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    Hi and welcome, how about Forcing linebreaks in \url
    – Johannes_B
    Commented Jul 10, 2015 at 18:41
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    The original post requested line breaks in document text, not \footnotes.
    – Werner
    Commented Jul 10, 2015 at 18:52
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    I´m sorry, guys for the not perfectly matching answer. As a justification and a mapping to the real world where search phrases most often not match an exact question title (often because a user doesn´t know the terms yet), a user ends up at not perfectly matching threads. So there is always a chance a non-perfectly-matching answer offers the correct solution to a problem. This is my experience so far :)
    – Karl
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 21:38
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    it should read \def\UrlBreaks{\do\/\do\-} I needed it to break at = and it would only work with the \ in front of the breaking char. even better would be \makeatletter \g@addto@macro{\UrlBreaks}{\do\/\do\-} \makeatother so you would not overwrite the original \UrlBreaks symbols
    – Garonenur
    Commented Oct 31, 2015 at 15:05
  • I'm not sure if this is the best answer for this specific answer, or even if it is a very elegant away of doing things, but it fixed my problem with a couple of very long URLs that I had on my .bib files. Thank you very much for the tip. Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 14:16

The problem with breakurl package is that it seems incompatible with PDFLaTeX, and XeLaTeX. My colleague Dag Langmyhr pointed out that the url package is compatible with hyperref if it is loaded before the latter, and consequently


does the job more elegantly (breaklinks=true did also not work for me). This approach allows the normal \url command to be used when inserting the URLs.

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    Dies with "LaTeX Error: Option clash for package url." for me for some reason...
    – cic
    Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 7:22
  • yes I also get the same error Option clash for package url. \usepackage
    – koeradoera
    Commented Mar 30, 2020 at 21:31

I think a more current answer is the usage of the package xurl as mentioned in this post.

To my understanding the usage of this package frees one from using the command \sloopy (since the line break could be almost everywhere).

  • Package xurl breaks my long urls nicely.
    – Daniel
    Commented Dec 13, 2022 at 12:06

If the other solutions won't work, this was the only solution that worked for me (from here):

% If you want to break on URL numbers
% If you want to break on URL lower case letters
% If you want to break on URL UPPER CASE letters

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