How can I temporarily forbid hyphenations (or make them more "expensive"), for a particular piece of text? One or two paragraphs.

  • Will \hyphenpenalty=10000 work? That is as high a penalty as you can assign. (The normal value is much lower, something like 50.)
    – jon
    Sep 27, 2012 at 3:42

2 Answers 2


Following the discussion in How to reduce the number of hyphenation?, you could define an environment that sets some hyphenation-avoiding parameters:

enter image description here

\usepackage{lipsum}% http://ctan.org/pkg/lipsum
  {\tolerance=1% Also consider setting \pretolerance
   \hbadness=10000}% \begin{nohyphen}
  {\par}% \end{nohyphen}

The parameter selection was taken from Justify without hyphenation and, as suggested in the first post, may require some tweaking. More on this, including a discussion regarding the above parameters, is available from the TeX FAQ entry Stopping all hyphenation.

With regards to line-breaking and some of the considerations on TeX's side, also review (La)TeX makes overfull lines:

TeX’s first attempt at breaking lines is performed without even trying hyphenation: TeX sets its “tolerance” of line breaking oddities to the internal value \pretolerance, and sees what happens. If it can’t get an acceptable break, TeX adds the hyphenation points allowed by the current patterns, and tries again using the internal \tolerance value. If this pass also fails, and the internal \emergencystretch value is positive, TeX will try a pass that allows \emergencystretch worth of extra stretchability to the spaces in each line.

In principle, therefore, there are three parameters (other than hyphenation) that you can change: \pretolerance, \tolerance and \emergencystretch.

  1. For a short text (a word) use \mbox{content}.

        content content\\content \mbox{content}
  2. For one word through the entire document use \hyphenation{content} in the preamble.

  3. For a paragraph or more use \raggedright (this will drop justification, though).
  4. For an integer amount of paragraphs you can set penalties:

  • I'd like it with a bit longer text (one or two paragraphs). Can you suggest a way, without dropping the justification? Sep 27, 2012 at 3:26
  • 1
    @MayGodBlessKnuth I've updated my answer but Werner was a little bit faster. I recommend to use an environment like he did so that you don't forget the \par or the blank line. Sep 27, 2012 at 3:46
  • I don't understand; How come setting \rightskip to 0pt plus 1fil removes hyphenation? TeXbook says “this isn’t a particularly good way to make ragged-right margins, because the infinite stretchability will assign zero badness to lines that are very short.”
    – morbusg
    Sep 27, 2012 at 4:01
  • 2
    @morbusg There's no penalty for using infinite stretch (plus 1fil), but there's a penalty for hyphenating a word. That's why the line-breaking algorithm will choose not to hyphenate. Some people (e.g. David Carlisle I think) prefer to put \rightskip 0pt plus 7em (or any other finite value at your wish), which leads to most words not being hyphenated, but when the line would be too short, they get hyphenated.
    – yo'
    Sep 27, 2012 at 8:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.