For information about hyphenating specific technology words, see the A–Z word list. For information about hyphenating common words, see The American Heritage Dictionary and The Chicago Manual of Style.
Don't hyphenate a predicate adjective (an adjective that complements the subject of a sentence and follows a linking verb) unless the Microsoft Writing Style Guide specifically recommends it. Check the A–Z word list to find out.
The text is left aligned.
The camera is built in.
Many viruses are memory-resident.
In compound words that precede and modify a noun as a unit, don’t hyphenate:
Very, when it precedes another modifier.
Very fast test
An adverb ending in -ly, such as completely, when it precedes another modifier. Check The American Heritage Dictionary if you're not sure whether the word ending in -ly is an adverb.
extremely stylized image
highly graphical interface
Note Use adverbs sparingly. They usually aren't necessary.
Hyphenate two or more words that precede and modify a noun as a unit if:
Confusion might result without the hyphen.
scrolling line by line
One of the words is a past or present participle (a verb form ending in -ed or -ing and used as an adjective or noun).
The schema is well defined.
The modifier is a number or single letter plus a noun or participle.
Suspended compound modifiers
Don’t use suspended compound modifiers, such as left- and right-aligned text, unless space is limited. Instead, spell out the entire phrase.
upper-right or lower-right corner
If you use a suspended compound modifier, include a hyphen with both adjectives. The first hyphen is followed by a space.
upper- or lower-right corner
Don’t form suspended compound modifiers from one-word adjectives.
uppercase and lowercase letters
Hyphenate compound nouns when one of the words is abbreviated.
Compound numerals and fractions
Hyphenate compound numerals and fractions.
a twenty-fifth anniversary
one-third of the page
En dashes in compound adjectives
Use an en dash (–) instead of a hyphen in a compound adjective when:
The compound adjective includes an open compound.
Windows 10–compatible products
dialog box–type options
Two or more of the elements are made up of hyphenated compounds (a rare occurrence).
Avoid creating new words by adding prefixes to existing words. Rewrite to avoid creating a new word. If a word with a prefix is listed in The American Heritage Dictionary or the A–Z word list, it’s OK to use in Microsoft content.
In general, don’t include a hyphen after the following prefixes unless omitting the hyphen could confuse the reader.
Use a hyphen between a prefix and a stem word:
If a confusing word results without the hyphen.
If the stem word begins with a capital letter.
A prefix affects a word, not a phrase. For example, instead of non-security related, use unrelated to security.
When adding a prefix to a stem word results in a double vowel and each vowel is pronounced, don’t use a hyphen.
For more information about using prefixes, see The Chicago Manual of Style.
Capitalization in hyphenated compound words
Capitalize any part of a hyphenated compound word that would be capitalized if there were no hyphen.
| Compound word | Example sentence | | ------------- |-------------| | Customer-friendly | Customer-friendly content is brief, accurate, and to the point.| |E-Book| Bisson, Guillermo. The App E-Book. Redmond, WA: Lucerne Publishing, 2015.| | Add-ins | Bisson, Guillermo. Programming Office 365 Applications, SharePoint Add-ins, and More. Redmond, WA: Lucerne Publishing, 2015. |
See also Capitalization.