Is there a way to make InDesign CS5.5 to automatically use a non-breaking hyphen when I paste a bunch of text with regular hyphens in it?
Or, is there a way to tell it to treat a regular hyphen in the middle of the word as if it were a letter; that is not to break up a word with a hyphen in it when Hyphenation is turned off?
Manually: Use Alt+Command+Hyphen to manually insert a non-breaking hyphen (... I use it all the time on Windows but can't recall the Win key combo! ).
On a text selection: Use Find/Change on your selected text to change all hyphens to non-breaking hyphens. See the Change Text dropdown menu for the code for a non-breaking hyphen.
Add a GREP style to the paragraph style(s) you are using for your text that applies a character style specifying "No Break" on the regular hyphen, which is simply this single character
in the To Text field of the GREP Style list.
I used the GREP style. The only thing is that you need to use \w-\w or something similar for the "To text", otherwise it keeps breaking it.