Zero-width non-joiner

Zero-width non-joiner

The zero-width non-joiner (ZWNJ) is a non-printing character used in the computerization of writing systems that make use of ligatures. When placed between two characters that would otherwise be connected into a ligature, a ZWNJ causes them to be printed in their final and initial forms, respectively. This is also an effect of a space character, but a ZWNJ is used when it is desirable to keep the words closer together.

The ZWNJ is encoded in Unicode as U+200C zero width non-joiner (HTML: ‌ ‌).


Use of the ZWNJ for correct typography

In certain languages, the ZWNJ is required for correct typography.

Correct (with ZWNJ) Incorrect Meaning
Display Picture Code Display Picture Code
أي‌بي‌إم Correct display of Arabic with ZWNJ.svg أي‌بي‌إم أيبيإم Incorrect display of Arabic without ZWNJ.svg أيبيإم Arabic 'IBM'
می‌خواهم Correct display of Persian with ZWNJ.svg می‌خواهم میخواهم Incorrect display of Persian without ZWNJ.svg میخواهم Persian 'I want to'
עֲו‌ֹנֹת Correct Hebrew Vav with Holam haser with ZWNJ.svg עֲו‌ֹנֹת עֲוֹנֹת Incorrect Hebrew Vav with Holam male without ZWNJ.svg עֲוֹנֹת Old Hebrew 'transgressions'
Auf‌lage Correct display of German with ZWNJ.svg Auf‌lage Auflage Incorrect display of German without ZWNJ.svg Auflage German 'edition'

With the Biblical Hebrew example, the placement of the holam dot to the left of the letter waw (ו) is correct for the translation. The placement of the dot over the ו makes it visually confusing with עוֹנוֹת, seasons. (In Modern Hebrew there is no reason to use the holam after the waw and the ligature is needed, so it is rarely used in Modern Hebrew typesetting.)

In the German example the prefix Auf- is separated from the rest of the word in order to break the ligature fl into the separate characters f and l.

Use of the ZWNJ for diplaying alternate forms

In the Devanagari script, insertion of a ZWNJ after a consonant with a halant or before a dependent vowel will prevent the characters from being joined properly. For example, the characters क् and typically combine to form क्ष, but when a ZWNJ is inserted between them, क्‌ष (code: क्‌ष) is seen instead.

See also

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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