Indesign CC automatic hyphenation for Indian languages

More and more publishers are starting to use Indesign CC and Unicode. One of the many adavantages the publishers get with unicode and Indesign cc is automatic hyphenation. A few of my friends told me that they don’t know how to use hyphenation. Eventhough I never used Indesign before, I decided to figure out. In my Windows 10 virtual machine, I installed Indesign CC 2018.

Following is a tutorial on how to get perfect hyphenation for text in Indian languages in Indesign. I use Malayalam as example.

Indesign CC 2018 comes with Hunspell hyphenation dictionaries. These hyphenation dictionaries are written by me long time back. See

From menu Edit-> Preferences->Dictionary, set Language and Hyphenation as “Hunspell”

Create a text frame and add content to it. Make sure that the composer is set as Adobe World-Ready paragraph composer. You can access it from Paragraph settings as shown below. Without this settings, the Indic text won’t render correctly.

Tick the “Hyphenation” from the paragraph settings. Select an appropriate font for the content. Choose the language of the content as Malayalam or other Indic language you are working on. See screenshot below. Justify the content.

The content will get automatically hyphenated. If you resize the column width or insert more content, text will get automatically hyphenated.

The exported PDF will look like:

You can see the hyphenation rules in Installation folder: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe InDesign CC 2018\Resources\Dictionaries\LILO\Linguistics\Providers\Plugins2\AdobeHunspellPlugin\Dictionaries

Patterns are available for Assamese, Bengali, Panjabi, Gujarati, Assamese, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Odia, Kannada and Malayalam.

I have not tried older Indesign versions, so I don’t know from which version this feature is available. But I don’t see a reason for not using latest version either.

7 thoughts on “Indesign CC automatic hyphenation for Indian languages”

  1. Can you help me with using Mangal Hindi Font in Indesign CC 2018?
    I found that Aryan2Bilingual works fine. I work on Annual Report. The MS Word files (about 100 pages) are in Mangal Font (Unicode). Kindly help.

    1. Unicode is font independent. What you have is content in Unicode encoding and fonts does not matter. Just use it in Indesign and set appropriate font. Make sure to enable the settings as mentioned in the post

  2. നല്ല വര്‍ക്ക്. താങ്കള്‍ മലയാളത്തിനു വേണ്ടി ചെയ്തിട്ടുള്ള നല്ലകാര്യങ്ങള്‍ക്കു നന്ദി. ഇത് മലയാള ലോകം അറിയുന്നില്ല എന്നുള്ളത് ഒരു പോരായ്മയാണ്. തീര്‍ച്ചയായും ഈ പ്രവര്‍ത്തനങ്ങള്‍ക്ക് മതിയായ പ്രചാരം നല്‍കാന്‍ ആത്മാര്‍ത്ഥമായി ശ്രമിക്കുന്നതാണ്.

  3. This is okay but I haven’t found any option for conjuncts issue. I am working on Odia language and noticed that some characters are showing perfectly in word doc file but while placing in InDesign its break in two or more characters. For example please place these two ସଂଖ୍ୟା, ଅପ୍ରସ୍ତୁତ two words in your InDesign and you will notice that some characters will change. Could you please help me on this.
    Don’t know how Microsoft word support all the languages perfectly and InDesign not.

    1. I can help with the hyphenation in general, but not with InDesign which I don’t use or I cannot fix. If you have a single word and if the hyphenation happens at wrong place in that word, that is all I can improve. That is the scope of hyphenation. To understand me the problem better, you may need to give me a sample word, what you as hyphenated text(that is, where the break happens) and where you expect the break to happen.

      InDesign, or MS Word related issues, I cannot help. I wrote only the hyphenation rule.

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