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Is there a way in ArcGIS 10.1 to have a text field with a defined width to perform word wrapping (ideally with hyphenation) automatically, or do i have to implement it myself using e.g. pyhyphen?

Use case are long (>200 character) attribute values that need to be displayed. At the moment i do hard linebreaks after every 50'th character, but that is not pretty.

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How much playing around have you done with the Maplex labeling engine? It has some options to word wrap and split up field values. You could also do some VBscript or Python logic. –  Baltok Jun 6 '13 at 15:57
    
Have not done anything in maplex, thanks for the hint! –  til_b Jun 7 '13 at 10:33
    
Playing around with text fields inserted via "Drawing->Rectangle text" now. Does not include typesetting/hyphenation, AFAIResearched . –  til_b Jun 7 '13 at 10:34
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