15 years ago, the word processing software I used was WordPerfect 5.1. It wouldn’t be able to compete with any current software, except for one thing: hyphenation. I have yet to see any word processing or type setting software with hyphenation as good as that of WordPerfect 5.1.
I co-edit two journals typeset by two different people, and the beyond all comparison most common proof error I have to correct is crappy hyphenation. This is a big deal in Swedish where composite words are written without spaces or hyphens, just like in German. Automatic hyphenation always screws up when the second component starts with a vowel or multiple consonants. In English, without the space or hyphen, you’d get hyphenations like “psychoa-nalysis”, “irono-re”, “spacea-lien”, “stormt-rooper” and “ringw-raith”.
Bronsåldern and järnåldern, the Bronze and Iron Ages, cannot be hyphenated bron-såldern and jär-nåldern. Nor is bol-mört or hor-nuggla something I’d like to subject our readers to.
WordPerfect 5.1 had an easily accessible list of hyphenation exceptions. The first time I saw bron-såldern, I taught the program to hyphenate that brons-ål-dern, and then the problem was solved, permanently. Well, not permanently. Only until I switched to Microsoft Word.
I wonder if those exception lists are still around, but hidden in today’s bloated software packages, so that nobody knows how to use them.