[Solved] Breaking Nepali Characters-Words in Indesign

There has always been issues for Nepali font while designing for print. It isn’t a issue for those who work with?Unicode? but for those who work with Nepali fonts i.e Preeti, Kantipur or any another Nepali font its really frustrating to work with programs. As the programs are build in west where there is less or no concern and testing for the fonts like Nepali, ?we have to figure it out by ourselves until they make the program compatible for fonts. But it is less likely as English is the major international Language and for the rest there is Unicode to meet the purpose so the problem is yet to stick for years.

In this article I am writing about the breaking words in Nepali. Indesign predecessor like Pagemaker had the issue of breaking the “PURNABIRAM” and other few words like /. But in Indesign there is serious issue of breaking the words in almost every symbol i.e (“[“, “{“, “/” etc). The programs such as word, freehand, pagemaker does not have those issues as far as I know (correct me If I am wrong). I haven’t used Illustrator or Coreldraw for the desktop publishing work (that is for desktop publishing work using Nepali font) as of know so not talking about those programs. Since Freehand and pagemaker has become history , I decided to layout a Nepali and English (font) mixed magazine in Indesign.

Soon after using The Indesign I noticed that the Nepali words and characters were breaking unnecessarily.


If I were to work with few paragraph I would select no break from the character tab or palate (Whatever it’s called). But Since I had to work with pages of Nepali text I had to figure something out. Other wise I had to select each word that was breaking and select nobreak for each one of them. After Searching briefly and no luck (not finding good solution, also i didn’t have time to keep searching for the iss), I took a rest for a while and finally figured out a way to tackle this problem.


In page maker when the full stop in Nepali font broke apart in two lines we would find and replace the text with the non-breaking space and a full stop. Similarly in Indesign too, we would use the same technique for the breaking full stop. I will write in points about things to do to prevent Nepali words from breaking

1. First un-check Hyphenate in Paragraph as it adds unnecessary hyphen in Nepali words.hyphenate

2. For breaking “PURNABIRAM” shown below in the image, ?use find and change?dialogue. In find type “space”+”fullstop”( .) and replace with regular expression “^S”+”.”(Pagemaker user must be familiar with this). This adds a non breaking space right before a fullstop (period) which prevents from breaking the “PURNABIRAM” as highlighted in the image.non-breaking fullstopbreaking space

3. For rest of the breaking words as shown in the very first image, we have to find and replace every symbol with no-break. For example?? is on of the frequent character that breaks the word. So find “/” and replace it with “/” except in the change format?click the “Magnifying glass with T” icon. Which produces the change format setting dialogue. and under basic Character formats, check the no Break.

Upon clicking “OK” you will see that + no break appears on Change Format. Find and replace all. This will resolve all the breaking words that has / or ?? in Nepali.


no-break highlight4. This step would be to repeat the step 3 until you finish finding and replacing all the symbol characters in English. i.e Find and replace all the characters like { ? ; ? ‘ ? \ ?| ? } ? [ ? ] ?( ) with the same character with no break attribute in change format.

This should resolve the breaking word issue while working with Nepali characters.

P.S: I don’t know if there is another way to tackle this problem if there is any I certainly would like to know. I hope this was helpful to those who are and were having ?this issue.