Hyphenation of words within quotation marks

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Xuanying
Posts: 9
Joined: 2018-11-15 13:37:36

Hyphenation of words within quotation marks

Post by Xuanying »

Hello Nisus users,

Below are two screenshots of an entry in a Chinese-English glossary I’m writing. Since I'm writing for a publisher and cannot yet make the contents public, I’ve scrambled most of the entry using the “Redact” macro. Only the last sentence is in plain English and this is where the problem occurs. The last word (“confinement”) is within quotation marks and Nisus does not hyphenate it but moves it to a new line. As a result, the spacing in the previous line is huge.

Strangely, if I add a short word (“and”) in the previous line, “confinement” is correctly hyphenated.

The lines look very short because this is a 2-column page. The whole passage is set in US English and I’ve used both “Automatic-Normal” and “Automatic-More Often”, but the result is the same.

Is there a way to solve this problem? Thanks for any advice.
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xiamenese
Posts: 545
Joined: 2006-12-08 00:46:44
Location: London or Exeter, UK

Re: Hyphenation of words within quotation marks

Post by xiamenese »

I wonder if the problem is that "confine- (the other possible hyphenation point) is still too long to fit on the line, hence it can't hyphenate. Putting 'and' in means that the "con- hyphenation point is used. That's just my guess.

You could try inserting a "Soft hyphen" at the 'confine' hyphenation point (Insert > Special Character > Hyphens and Dashes > Soft Hyphen) to see if that will force hyphenation there, or put one in after 'con' to see if it forces hyphenation there. Otherwise, highlight the line and see what you can do with Format > Kern > Tighten by… (if you just select Tighten, it is tightened by "3 twips")

HTH

Mark
Xuanying
Posts: 9
Joined: 2018-11-15 13:37:36

Re: Hyphenation of words within quotation marks

Post by Xuanying »

Hi Mark,

Thanks for your suggestion. Indeed, I can add a soft hyphen after “con” or after “confine” and the word is correctly hyphenated in both cases. However, I’m reluctant to use soft hyphens because they make words not searchable.

I also tried to kern the last two lines. With 1 twip, nothing happens. With 2 twips, the two lines are compressed into one line. In either case, no automatic hyphenation. It’s like “either all or nothing”.

I believe the problem is really with the quotation marks. If I remove the second mark, “confinement” is correctly hyphenated. If instead I remove the first mark, no hyphenation is needed and the last 5 words fit in one line. (See new screenshots below). Looks strange to me, because whether I remove the first or the second mark, the length of the sentence should be the same.

By the way, my glossary is a few hundred pages long and a similar problem occurs several times.

Xuanying
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adryan
Posts: 569
Joined: 2014-02-08 12:57:03
Location: Australia

Re: Hyphenation of words within quotation marks

Post by adryan »

G'day, Xuanying et al

I don't think it's so much a question of where the quotation marks are, as it is of how the particular font handles the associated kerning.

I performed the following experiment: I created two paragraphs, one with your text with the opening quotation mark and the other with your text with the closing one. I dragged the right margin to the left and watched what happened. With almost all fonts, both paragraphs split in unison. However, with STIX Two Text, I observed the same differential splitting you did. Tightening the kerning between the opening quotation mark and the succeeding character, or loosening it between the closing quotation mark and the preceding character, by just a single twip then made both paragraphs split in unison, as it had with the other fonts I tried.

Also, kerning sometimes needs to be done on a space-by-space basis, rather than applied holus-bolus to an entire line.

And you're right about the problem with finding words with soft hyphens embedded in them. It would be nice to have in the Find window an option to ignore them.

Cheers,
Adrian
MacBook Pro (M1 Pro, 2021)
macOS Ventura
Nisus Writer user since 1996
Xuanying
Posts: 9
Joined: 2018-11-15 13:37:36

Re: Hyphenation of words within quotation marks

Post by Xuanying »

Hi Adrian,

Thanks a lot for your reply. If I understand correctly, you suggest that the problem is caused by the automatic kerning between the opening quotation mark and the next character, or between the closing quotation mark and the previous character. And different fonts handle this mechanism in different ways.

I also tried to perform your experiment with two other fonts (Times New Roman and STIX Two). My results are a bit different — just one twip is not enough — but indeed playing with kerning seems to be only solution to the problem.

Xuanying
adryan
Posts: 569
Joined: 2014-02-08 12:57:03
Location: Australia

Re: Hyphenation of words within quotation marks

Post by adryan »

G'day, Xuanying et al

Hyphenation is a fraught subject, exacerbated by our general preference in the post-typewriter era for fully-justified text. The larger the font size and the shorter the distance between the text margins, the greater is the probability of finding unsightly "white space" in fully-justified text.

Philip devised a very useful Macro that automates the kern adjustment and often solves the problem.

viewtopic.php?p=39359

But kern adjustment is not the only remedy. Other expedients include:–

(1) adjustment of the margins
(2) change of font
(3) change of font variant (eg, condensed)
(4) change of font style (eg, italic, bold)
(5) change of font size
(6) judicious use of footnotes (because note references chew up white space)
(7) hyphenation or dehyphenation of words which lend themselves to such treatment (eg, "reread")
(8) substituting one member of the set {hyphen, en dash, em dash} for another
(9) changing word order
(10) insertion or deletion of adjectives or adverbs
(11) replacing a word or expression with a synonymous longer one (to push the problematic word to the next line)
(12) replacing the problematic word with a shorter one (so it doesn't need to be split in the first place)
(13) replacing the problematic word with one having a more tractable syllabification
(14) restricting oneself to 3-letter words
(15) ensuring that any words of more than 3 letters contain syllables no longer than 3 letters
(16) deliberate resorting to misspelling (unless you harbor the triple conceit — or conceit triplet, if that helps — that someone is actually going to read what you write, that they read it closely enough, and that they have more facility with correct spelling than your average punter)
(17) exercising one’s creativity in the neologistic sphere to conjure up a word of just the right length (perhaps with an explanatory footnote)
(18) donning period costume to pay homage to earlier generations by eschewing fully justified text in favor of left-justified text.

Be aware that any of these maneuvers can affect referencing within the document, so it may be best to defer them until your project is nearly complete. And of course you should always check the referencing before printing or publishing.

Cheers,
Adrian
MacBook Pro (M1 Pro, 2021)
macOS Ventura
Nisus Writer user since 1996
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