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Tuesday's Tip - Non-breaking Spaces (Beginner)

Non-breaking Spaces

Tuesday's Tips provide brief how-to's to help you learn to use the Legacy Family Tree software with new tricks and techniques.


Tuesday's Tip - Non-breaking Spaces (Beginner)

Let's say you have someone in your file named Mary Lou Simmons. She always went by Mary Lou and not just by Mary. In the narrative portion of reports Legacy will only pick up the first name, Mary. There is a trick to tell Legacy that you want this person to be referred to as Mary Lou.

In Windows there is a command for a "non-breaking" space which keeps two words together as a single unit. The keyboard shortcut for this is ALT 0160 and this does work in Legacy. In the Given Name field type Mary, then ALT 0160, then Lou. You will see the cursor jump to make a space but won't see anything else different on the screen.

To use one of the Windows shortcut commands (there are many!) you simply hold down the ALT button while you type 0160 using the numbers keypad on the right side of your keyboard. If you are on a laptop that doesn't have a numbers keypad, HERE are instructions.

And this is what you will see in a report:

Mary Lou in reports
(click image to enlarge)

A very simple and useful trick.


Find tech tips every day in the Facebook Legacy User Group. The group is free and is available to anyone with a Facebook account.

For video tech tips check out the Legacy Quick Tips page.  These short videos will make it easy for you to learn all sort of fun and interesting ways to look at your genealogy research.


Michele Simmons Lewis, CG® is part of the Legacy Family Tree team at MyHeritage. She handles the enhancement suggestions that come in from our users as well as writing for Legacy News. You can usually find her hanging out on the Legacy User Group Facebook page answering questions and posting tips.


Windows shortcut for a non-breaking space ALT 0160 will cause given names to stay together in reports.  

Mary Lou Davis will appear as Mary Lou instead of Mary


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Excellent tip - I have been using Nickname as a way to keep those two names together! This is much simpler. I've added it to my shortcuts list above my computer. Merci, Michele.

Hold down Ctrl and Shift at same time as pressing Spacebar creates a non-breaking space.

Nice! I love when there is more than one way to do something!

Thank you!

Is there a list somewhere of the codes?

There are way too many. All of the foreign language characters have their own codes Then there are formatting codes and there are special character codes. The easiest way is to Google the type of code you are looking for. You can also bring up the Windows Character Map (this comes with Windows) which will give you a lot of these (but not all). You can copy and paste from here or you can make note of the code.

For interest's sake, a few of the Alt-Codes are listed here:

Excellent tip! Thanks so much...


The most "Legacy Family Tree" way to use the "non-breaking space" character to add it to the "Select Special Characters" bar found to the left side of the Notes entry dialogs found throughout Legacy, such as the Notes to be included with an Event.

When you open the "Choose Special Characters" dialog you see a 7 row by 32 column Character Map that can be used to select the character you want to use.

There are a couple of characters that display nothing (i.e. they are BLANK) so it is not easy to tell which is which.
* the regular "space" character is in the 1st character in the 1st row
* the "non-breaking space" character is the left-most character in the 5th row
* the "non-breaking dash" character is in the 4th row, below the "6" in the top row

See "Help / Character Map" for a description.

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