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Barry MacDonnell's
Toolbox for WordPerfect

Macros, tips, and templates for Corel® WordPerfect® for Windows®
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Page updated Jan 22, 2012

SoftWrap - Prevent long web addresses (URLs) and e-mail addresses from wrapping to the next line as a single block of text

Download SoftWrap.zip (v1.01; 01/11/08; 7,344 bytes)

Compatible with WordPerfect 8 and later versions

WordPerfect 11 users: See important information about using macros in the first release of WP11 ( at the top of this page.

Downloading, Documentation, Modifications, and Support

Web site and e-mail addresses normally don't have spaces in them, so WordPerfect treats them as a single block of text. Wrapping such long text strings can result in a large empty space left behind in the line above. Also, if margins are narrow it can create a wrapped address that is split in the middle of a component word.

To prevent this from happening, use a hyphenation soft return [Hyph SRt] after each slash mark and double slash mark in an internet or e-mail address. (See below for other "break" characters.)

Note: In WordPerfect a hyphenation soft return is not a hyphen, it is a soft return placed where a hyphen would be inserted. (Hyphenation soft returns can be inserted with Format, Line, Other codes, or you could assign "Hyphenation Soft Return" to any available keyboard shortcut.) If the line that contains these codes should break apart because of the length of the web site address (the URL) or the e-mail address, it will do so without adding a hyphen.

As The Chicago Manual of Style's FAQ website explains (http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/cmosfaq/ -- see under the "URLs" section):

Q. Have you established any rules for breaking Web addresses at ends of lines? I would be inclined to break at the slash where possible, with no hyphen (keeping the address intact), but what about the “dots”? Example: eic.edu.gov.on.ca/html/dsbmaps.html (I’ve got another one that’s a line and a quarter long!).

A. Your instincts are the same as ours -- when a URL must be broken over a line in a printed work, breaking after a slash is preferable (also break after a double slash). On the other hand, breaking a URL after a dot (leaving what looks like a period at the end of a line) might cause difficulties for the reader. It would be better to place the dot at the beginning of the next line. Using a hyphen to break a long word at the end of a line is not a good idea, since some URLs contain hyphens as part of the address; moreover, a hyphen that’s part of a URL should never appear at the end of a line. Further rules are as follows: break before a tilde (~), a hyphen, an underline (_), a question mark, or a percent symbol; or before or after an equals sign or an ampersand.

SoftWrap is a macro that does all this automatically. Simply select the address and play the macro. It places a hyphenation soft return after all slashes (single or double) and ampersands (@), and before a period, tilde (~), hard or soft hyphen(-), underscore (_), question mark(?), percent sign(%) or equals sign(=). It is useful for bibliographies, etc.

Thanks to "peterm" for comments that led to the idea behind this macro.