Pressing the - on your keyboard, usually next to the 0 zero key, will produce a hyphen-minus.
How and When To Type En and Em Dashes On a Mac
Methods of producing the other characters are described below. To insert a dash or minus sign, use the toolbar below the edit box. Click where you want the character to be inserted, select "Insert" from the pull-down menu, and then:. Find an en dash — or em dash — already in some text—in this sentence, for example—and paste it where a new one is wanted.
For Windows on a keyboard with a Numeric keypad :. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This help page is a how-to guide. Each functions quite differently from the others.
How do I insert an en dash or em dash in Microsoft Word?
Below are definitions of each, explanations for when to use them, and instructions for typing them on both PCs and Macs. Most people use the hyphen when they need a minus sign in mathematical equations. Some argue that the actual minus sign sits lower than the hyphen, but at least in Microsoft Word, inserting the mathematical minus sign from the symbols list renders the same mark as using the hyphen on the keyboard.
In many instances, correct hyphenation can be a complicated issue. Elsewhere on this site, we discuss the use of hyphens to create compound words and hyphenated adjectives.
Hyphen, en-dash, em-dash
Here, however, our focus is on the two kinds of dashes. The em dash is the mark most of us picture when we hear the term dash.
- How to Insert the Em Dash in Google Docs (Bonus Tricks Included).
- How to Create and Use Dashes and Hyphens.
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It is significantly longer than the hyphen. We use the em dash to create a strong break in the structure of a sentence. Dashes are particularly useful in a sentence that is long and complex or in one that contains a number of commas, as in this example:. When we confuse the em dash with the hyphen, we make a sentence virtually impossible to read.
If a comma or a pair of them works, use it. Parentheses tend to downplay an idea; they suggest that the information in them is helpful but not necessary. Em dashes draw attention to the information they enclose or set apart. Typically the writer is telling the reader that the information being set off by em dashes is important.
Break the rules!
The en dash is slightly longer than the hyphen but not as long as the em dash. Many people were not even aware of the distinction between the en dash and the em dash until the advent of word processors, when software programs enabled us to use marks of punctuation that once had been available only to professional printers. When using the hyphen, the en dash, or the em dash, most style books advocate putting space neither before nor after them. One exception is, of course, when the hyphen is used as a minus sign.
By definition, a hanging hyphen will have a space after it but not before it. Computer keyboards lack individual keys for either of the dashes.
The symbol above the hyphen is an underline, not a dash. Before word processing, we had to make do by typing two hyphens. Now we have options. Note that not all keyboards around the world are the same.
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We have heard from our readers in countries outside the U. That said, here are guidelines for typing on many keyboards:. Some say to use the en dash instead of the em dash, while others go so far as to advocate using the hyphen, advice that would lead to confusion, as we have noted above. Our British and Canadian readers—and, indeed, any English-speaking reader outside the U.