The zero-width space (ZWSP) is a non-printing character used in computerized typesetting to indicate word boundaries to text processing systems when using scripts that do not use explicit spacing, or after characters (such as the slash) that are not followed by a visible space but after which there may nevertheless be a line break. Normally, it is not a visible separation, but it may expand in passages that are fully justified. In HTML pages, this space can be used as a potential line-break in long words as an alternative to the
<wbr> tag. However, the zero-width space is not supported in all web browsers, most notably Internet Explorer version 6 and below. In troff, it is written as
It is encoded at Unicode U+200B zero width space (HTML:
​). To show the effect of a zero-width space, the following words have been separated with zero-width spaces:
On browsers supporting zero-width spaces, resizing the window will re-break the above text only at word boundaries.
Its semantics and HTML implementation are comparable to but different from the soft hyphen.
- Unicode Consortium, "Special Areas and Format Characters" (Chapter 16), The Unicode Standard, Version 5.2 full text
- Victor H. Mair, Yongquan Liu, Characters and computers, IOS Press, 1991
See also 
- Soft hyphen
- Word divider
- Word wrap
- Zero-width non-joiner
- Space (punctuation), includes table comparing various space-like characters
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