A fast and small JavaScript hyphenation engine
JavaScript Makefile
Latest commit 76a3aea Dec 19, 2016 @bramstein 0.2.5



A small and fast JavaScript hyphenation engine. Can be used in Node.js and as a jQuery plugin.


Hypher can be installed from NPM:

npm install hypher hyphenation.en-us

You can then use it in your program by creating an instance of Hypher and giving it a language object:

var Hypher = require('hypher'),
    english = require('hyphenation.en-us'),
    h = new Hypher(english);

// returns ['hy', 'phen', 'ation']

See examples/node/ for a full example on how to use Hypher. The hyphenate method does not support hyphenated compound words. These should be split into individual words before being passed to the hyphenation engine and reassembled afterwards by the caller. You can also use the hyphenateText method to hyphenate a string of text. The hyphenateText method does support compound words and returns a string with inserted soft hyphens (\u00AD.)

// returns 'Hy|phen|ation is use|ful when cen|ter jus|ti|fy|ing a text.' where `|` is a soft hyphen
h.hyphenateText('Hyphenation is useful when center justifying a text.');

The hyphenateText method takes an optional second parameter minLength which is the minimum length a word should have to be considered for hyphenation (defaults to 4.) Note that an instance of the Hypher class should only be created once for each language object.

The language object should contain:

  // The minimum number of unhyphenated characters at the left of each word. (required)
  leftmin: <number>, 

  // The minimum number of unhyphenated characters at the right of each word. (required)
  rightmin: <number>,

  // A comma separated list of hyphenation exceptions. Custom hyphenations
  // can be specified using '\u2027' (hyphenation point) as hyphenation
  // character. List items are case-insensitive. (Optional)
  exceptions: <string>,

  // A patterns object (required)
  patterns: {}

Language patterns can be found in the patterns repository.


To use the jQuery plugin include dist/jquery.hypher.js in your HTML document together with any number of language pattern files from the dist/browser directory in the patterns repository. It is important that you include jquery.hypher.js before any language pattern files.

<script src="jquery.hypher.js"></script>
<script src="en-us.js"></script>

This will extend jQuery with a hyphenate method. Given the following HTML:

<p>Hyphenation is <em>important</em></p>

You can hyphenate the text content of the p element like so:


The hyphenate method only works on the text content of the elements it is called on, so in the above example the word "important" will not be hyphenated. To also include the text content of the em element, simply include it in your selector:

$('p, em').hyphenate('en-us');

This naturally also applies to your own classes:

$('p.hyphenate, em, a').hyphenate('en-us');

This will hyphenate only p with class hyphenate and em and a elements.


Assuming you have Ender installed you can either add Hypher and a hyphenation pattern to your library by using the command line ender build hypher hyphenation.en-us, or include them in your dependencies in your package.json:

"dependencies": {
  "hypher": "*",
  "hyphenation.en-us": "*"

and build your library as usual with ender build .. Then---as in jQuery---hyphenate the selected elements:


The examples/ender/ directory contains an example project using Ender and Hypher.


Hypher is licensed under the three clause BSD license (see BSD.txt.)

See also


  • Laurens Meurs - improvements to the exception list