Word Wrap Definition & Meaning

In word processing, a feature that causes the word processor to force all text to fit within the defined margins. When you fill one line with text, the word processor automatically jumps to the next line so that you are not required to keep track of line lengths and to press the Return key after each line. The word processor divides lines in such a way that a word is never split between two lines (unless the word processor supports hyphenation).

Word wrap also occurs if you change the margins. In this case, the word processor readjusts all the text so that it fits within the new margins.

Note that word wrap inserts a soft return at the end of each line, not a hard return. Soft returns are invisible codes that the word processor utilizes. Hard returns are real characters inserted into the document.

Some word processors allow you to turn off the word-wrap feature. This is useful for writing programs and other types of formattedtext where you want complete control over new lines.

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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