Automatic hyphenation is an important tool to help you make text, especially in narrow columns, look good.
QuarkXPress has always featured an automatic hyphenation engine. In the early days it was improved frequently. Since Version 6.5, QuarkXPress uses technology provided by Dieckmann, which is seen as the best hyphenation engine available to-date.
“Extended 2” (in preferences) is the Dieckmann-based method.
The importance of automatic hyphenation is determined by two main factors: Language and amount of text.
Language; some languages have shorter words, whereas others have longer words, especially languages where words are compounded. English tends to use rather short words (with the exceptions, e.g. scientific articles). German tends to be rather, for example “Kraftfahrzeughaftpflichtversicherung” which is even frequently used. In average, French has a bit shorter words than German, Italian, Greek and Turkish a bit longer.
And of course the amount of text has an effect: If you just have one sentence or one paragraph, you can hyphenate by hand. If you have several pages or even hundreds of spreads, you probably want an automatism to do this for you, ideally without having to check every instance.
What is hyphenation strictness in QuarkXPress?
QuarkXPress offers many parameter to fine-tune hyphenation, which can be found in the “Edit > H&Js” menu.
New in QX2018 is the “Strictness Level“. When you open a document last saved in QuarkXPress 7, 8, 9, 10, 2015, 2016 or 2017, then the “As 2017 and earlier” field will be enabled for H&J.
Strictness levels are defined like this:
1 – Hyphenate compounds words only, so maybe the best for titles and headlines.
2 – A few more hyphenations than level 1.
3 – Hyphenate where it still looks good, probably the best level to start with.
4 – Hyphenate many words but not where it might look strange.
5 – Hyphenate everywhere, where grammatically correct, best for very narrow columns.
QuarkXPress doesn’t offer pre-defined H&Js for the five levels above, so please create your own ones (or change the existing ones) based on your personal choice and aesthetic.
On the left, you see English text with strictness level 4 (default in QuarkXPress 2018 for ‘Standard” H&J).
One the right, you see the same text with strictness level 3.
Available for many Languages
Strictness levels in QuarkXPress 2018 are available for all languages where QuarkXPress offers hyphenation.
QuarkXPress 2018 offers hyphenation for the following languages:
- English (British)
- English (US)
- German (Reformed)
- German (Swiss)
- German (Swiss Reformed)
- Norwegian (Bokmal)
- Norwegian (Nynorsk)
- Portuguese (Brazilian)
- Portuguese (European)
Two-minute Demo Video
Here’s a 2 min video demoing how to create and apply strictness levels:
Both an engineer and a layout artist, Matthias bridges the gap between technology and people.
Before joining Quark, Matthias pioneered print, Web, and multimedia products for multiple German publishing companies. Since 1997 he has played a central role in shaping Quark’s desktop and enterprise software.
Starting 2003 Matthias has focused on Quark’s interactive and digital publishing solutions. He is an active participant in design and publishing communities and represents Quark in the Ghent PDF Workgroup.
Since February 2014 Matthias heads Quark’s Desktop Publishing business unit and is therefore responsible for QuarkXPress.