I have a Word file that was created from a 2-column, fully justified PDF file. Since I want to convert it next to a Mobi format via Calibre, I need to remove the end-of-line hyphens that break words, otherwise I'll get this in Mobi: “remo-ve".

Does Word 2011 for Mac allow to justify text without hyphenation?

About 2/3 of all end-of-line hyphens are followed by a space (weird!). I suspect this file is not behaving normally due to the fact that it comes from a PDF.

Things I’ve tried with no result:

  1. Changed to left-align
  2. Changed font size
  3. In Tools/Hyphenation/Hyphenation zone, I increased the hyphenation zone to a whole inch
  4. I played with a few of the Options related to the Hyphenation algorithm under Preferences/Compatibility
  5. I right-clicked on paragraph, and under Line and Page breaks, selected "Don't Hyphenate".

Hyphens still there! I need a uniform solution, file is too big to go through the one by one.

  • The bad news is that the PDF to Word conversion process put the hyphens into the actual text. They are not being added by Office's hyphenation engine. As such, you're going to have to remove them all. Find and replace could help, but from experience it is difficult to do a pattern which will remove hyphens which were supposed to be at the end of line without removing those hyphens which should remain (like "low-budget"). May 28, 2014 at 21:46
  • Thank you, Alan! So there is no hope? PDFs are notoriously hard to convert well to Mobi, so I converted to Word first. Is there anything else I could have done instead?
    – Ferante1
    May 28, 2014 at 22:16
  • Well, I don't know of an easier way, but hopefully someone else does. May 29, 2014 at 1:37

1 Answer 1


You're right, the hyphens are artifacts from importing text from a PDF.

One way to do this (my preferred way, anyway) is to copy as plain text into a text editor such as Text Wrangler. The hyphens generally have a space after them when importing so I do a find and replace starting with that pattern. Then the resulting clean text can be imported or pasted into Word. Not a application solution but it works pretty well for me.

  • Copy PDF content to clipboard
  • Paste as plain text into a text editor that supports find and replace (Such as Sublime Text, Text Wrangler, Atom or even VS Code.)
  • Do a Find and Replace of "- " Hyphen space without the quotes.
  • Replace with Null or empty string. In other words, put nothing in the replace field.
  • Copy the resulted text to the clipboard
  • Paste the text into the Word document and apply desired formatting.

Text Wrangler find dialog

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