There are various techniques for managing hyphenation in PDF output.
You can change the basic hyphenation settings (variables) in your book’s
screen-pdf.scss files. Our default stylesheets can ask Prince to hyphenate paragraphs and lists (
p, ul, ol, dl), with a few exceptions (such as text on the title and contents pages). Prince includes a range of hyphenation dictionaries for major languages by default, which do a good job. However, you might need to add dictionaries or lists of specific words that Prince doesn’t support.
You can find
.dic files online for various languages and specialities, or you can compile your own.
.dic file is a plain-text file with one word or word-fragment on each line. Each one is called a pattern.
- If the pattern starts with a
., it will apply to, or match, any word that starts with that pattern. E.g.
.foowill match the words ‘food’ and ‘foobar’ but not ‘fastfood’.
- If the pattern ends with a
., it will apply to any word that ends with that pattern. E.g.
port.will match ‘port’ and ‘sport’ but not ‘portico’.
- Thus, if the pattern starts and ends with a
., it will apply to only that pattern exactly. E.g.
.port.will only ever match ‘port’.
To show where a word or word-fragment can hyphenate, you add digits (1 to 9) to the pattern. The digits have special meanings:
- Insert odd digits (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) where the word may hyphenate.
- Insert even digits (2, 4, 6, 8) where the word should not hyphenate.
- The higher the number, the more important the rule. That is, a
1says ‘hyphenate here if you must’, but a
9says ‘this is the best place to hyphenate’. A 2 says ‘don’t hyphenate here if you can help it’, but an
8says ‘Do not, not, not hyphenate here.’