Finding and Fixing Incorrectly Joined or Split Words in Paratext

What are Incorrectly Joined or Split Words?

The Paratext tool Find incorrectly joined or split words compares similar words or letter sequences in your text, even across spaces and word punctuation such as hyphens and apostrophes. It then lets you mark the correct ones and change others as needed to make them correct and consistent.

Unlike a spell-checker, this feature looks across word breaks to find sequences like this:

  • /be long/
  • /belong/

Looking at the context, you can judge each form and mark it as Correct, Incorrect, or Unknown.

In another instance, the tool compares these similar forms:

  • /Ben Hinnom/
  • /Ben-Hinnom/
  • /Bethel/
  • /Beth-el/

Your team may decide to use or not use a hyphen in names like these. Whichever it is, you can easily find each instance and make them all the same.

How to Find and Fix Incorrectly Joined or Split Words

The feature is found in the Wordlist tool and is called Find incorrectly joined or split words.

To use this feature:

  1. Open the Wordlist tool for your project
  2. Go to Tools > Find incorrectly joined or split words and click on it.
  3. The Find Incorrectly Joined or Split Words dialogue will open. screenshot1
  4. The dialog shows acceptable Current word medial punctuation. This list should include any punctuation that can be part of a word in this language, such as apostrophe /’/ in the word /couldn’t/ or hyphen /-/ in the name /Lloyd-Jones/. (This list of acceptable word medial punctuation can be edited in Language Settings by a project administrator.)
  5. Select either Hide word combinations that have already been marked as correct, or Show all word combinations according to your needs.
  6. Click OK to continue. The Wordlist will be filtered to pairs of words that have the same letters but one will have a space or  punctuation mark.

Wordlist filtered by word division problems 1 red 600

With the Wordlist filtered like this, you can work through the list, marking each spelling as correct or incorrect, and taking other needed actions as prompted by the Wordlist tool.

If you would like more information about checking word division and compound words in your text then type “joined” in Paratext Help.

Help topic on joined or split 1red


The Incorrectly joined or split word tool can reveal inconsistencies in your text where words have been separated or joined, most of which would not be found by conventional spell checking. Even if you do not think your text has these kinds of inconsistencies, it costs virtually nothing to run the check and see what it shows you. I recommend you give it a try. Maybe, it will help you make your text just a bit better.

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