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Text::Hyphen is a Ruby library to hyphenate words in various languages using Ruby-fied versions of TeX hyphenation patterns. It will properly hyphenate various words according to the rules of the language the word is written in. The algorithm is based on that of the TeX typesetting system by Donald E. Knuth.

This is originally based on the Perl implementation of TeX::Hyphen and the Ruby port. The language hyphenation pattern files are based on the sources available from CTAN as of 2004.12.19 and have been manually translated by Austin Ziegler.

This is a small feature release adding Russian language support and fixing a bug in the custom hyphen support introduced last version. This release provides both Ruby 1.8.7 and Ruby 1.9.2 support (but please read below). In short, Ruby 1.8 support is deprecated and I will not be providing any bug fixes related to Ruby 1.8. New features will be developed and tested against Ruby 1.9 only.


require "text/hyphen"

hh = 'en_us', left: 2, right: 2)
# which is the same as
hh =

word = "representation"
points = hh.hyphenate(word) #=> [3, 5, 8, 10]
puts hh.visualize(word) #=> rep-re-sen-ta-tion

# Phrases are also supported
phrase = "This useful library supports sentences."
points = hh.hyphenate(phrase)  #=> [8, 14, 23, 27, 34, 44]
puts hh.visualize(phrase)      #=> This use-ful li-brary sup-port-s phras-es and sen-tences.

Both visualize and hyphenate_to methods allow choosing a custom hyphen:

puts hh.visualize(word, "­") #=> rep­re­sen­ta­tion

Text::Hyphen is truly multilingual, with 29 languages or language variants supported. As an example, consider the difference between the following:

require 'text/hyphen'

# Using left and right minimum values of 0 ensures that you will see all
# possible hyphenation points, not just those that meet the minimum width
# requirements.
en = 0, right: 0)
fr = "fr", left: 0, right: 0)

puts en.visualise("organiser") #=> or-gan-iser
puts fr.visualise("organiser") #=> or-ga-ni-ser

As you can see, the hyphenation is distinct between the two hyphenators. Improvements over TeX::Hyphen include thread safety (except for debug control) and support for UTF-8 under Ruby 1.9.


gem install text-hyphen

A Note About Support on Older Rubies

There is no explicit support for any version of Ruby older than 2.6, but none of the code has been updated and support for version back to 1.8.7 should continue to work.


Text::Hyphen will hyphenate words using modified versions of TeX hyphenation patterns.



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