How to Insert an Em or En Dash in Word (4 Ways with Shortcuts)
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How to Insert an Em or En Dash in Word (4 Ways with Shortcuts)

insert an em or hyphen in microsoft word using the ribbon or keyboard shortcuts

by avantix learning team | updated on February 22, 2021

applies to: microsoft® word® 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 or 365 (windows)

Reading: How to connect dashes in word

You can insert an em dash or en dash into a Microsoft Word document with the Insert Symbol command or with keyboard shortcuts. an em dash is an em dash that is the width of the letter m. an en dash is the width of the letter n.

hyphens appear as follows:

  • hyphen (—)
  • hyphen (-)
  • hyphen or hyphen (-)

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1. inserting an em or hyphen using the insert symbol

You can use the insert symbol command to insert special characters into word documents.

to insert an em or dash using the insert symbol:

  1. click where you want to insert the em dash or en dash.
  2. click the insert tab on the ribbon.
  3. in the group of symbols, click on the symbol. a drop-down menu appears.
  4. click more symbols. A dialog box appears. in word, there are two tabs at the top of the dialog.
  5. click the special characters tab.
  6. click em dash or en dash.
  7. click insert.
  8. click close.

The insert symbol dialog in word is shown below:

Insert Symbol dialog box in Microsoft Word with copyright, trademark and registered trademark symbols.

2. inserting an em or hyphen using ctrl and keyboard shortcuts

To insert an em dash, click where you want to insert the em dash, then press ctrl + alt + – (minus sign on the numeric keypad).

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To insert an en dash, click where you want to insert the en dash, and then press ctrl + – (minus sign on the numeric keypad).

If this doesn’t work, press num lock on the numeric keypad.

3. inserting an em or hyphen using autoformat as you type

There are built-in options that are turned on by default in autocorrect in the auto-format-as-you-type settings.

to insert an em dash using autoformat as you type:

  1. Type a word without a space after it.
  2. Type two dashes or dashes with no space between or after them.
  3. Type another word.
  4. press the space bar.

to insert an en dash using automatic formatting as you type:

  1. type a word.
  2. press the space bar.
  3. type a single hyphen or hyphen.
  4. press the space bar.
  5. type another word.
  6. press the space bar.

4. insert an em or dash using alt and keyboard shortcuts

You can also use the alt key in combination with a sequence of numbers to insert an em dash or en dash.

To insert an em dash, click where you want to insert the em dash then press and hold alt and then type 8212 on the numeric keypad.

To insert an en dash, click where you want to insert the en dash, and then press and hold alt, then type 8211 on the numeric keypad.

If this doesn’t work, press num lock on the numeric keypad.

alt keyboard shortcuts will work in many programs, but the other shortcuts will work only in microsoft word.

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