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Is it safe to use ­ now? I remember there were problems with this entity, such as rendering it everywhere (instead of only when the web browser decides to split a word), or splitting a word without rendering it.

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Based on this article I don't think so. Apparently the browsers all handle it differently and still have issues with it (chrome, opera). The fact that the specs for it are conflicting probably doesn't help any.

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Well, that article contains the following sentence: "However, it now seems that the Web is finally ready for the use of soft hyphens as hyphenation hints without serious drawbacks, as far as browsers are considered. Reasonably new versions of major browsers either support the soft hyphen or at least graciously ignore it, i.e. display words as if they contained no soft hyphens." This contradicts your answer... –  liori Mar 18 '11 at 20:01
    
@liori, Define serious. I know I don't want to have any issues in any browser so the fact that chrome (and safari since it used the same rendering engine) and opera have issues, in addition to the older browsers which still have marketshare, that approximately 20% or more of my userbase may experience issues when viewing that character. I'd rather that number be much lower. –  John Conde Mar 18 '11 at 20:57
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