2 Answers

  1. In your sentence, this is an introductory word, so it will probably be hyphenated (and yes, separated by commas). You can also write without a hyphen, but only when “by” is a separate preposition. Example from Google:”They were walking along a visible stretch of road.”

  2. In this sentence, everything is initially so bad that the hyphen can not be corrected. If you put (only) it, it will contain punctuation errors. If you don't put it – lexical and semantic information.

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