Tip of the Day

What to do when a hyphen (“-“) won’t do.

Most computer keyboards have a key for the hyphen symbol (a.k.a. a dash) making it easy to insert when typing a document.

But what do you do when you need to type a longer dash (em-dash) or a medium dash (en-dash) when there is no keyboard key for either?

macOS

Mac makes it easy to insert an em-dash or en-dash. Try either of these simple shortcuts. They work on laptops and desktops running macOS.

  • To type an en-dash, press the Alt key and the Minus key at the same time. An en-dash (–) will appear.
  • The em-dash works the same way except you’ll press the Alt + Shift + Minus for an em-dash (—).

Windows

For desktop or laptop computers running Microsoft Windows, you still have access to both the en-dash and the em-dash — you just get to them in a different way.

  • To type an en-dash, press and hold the Alt key. While holding it down, tap 0 1 5 0 on the numeric keypad then release the ALT key. An en-dash (the shorter one) will appear.
  • To type an em-dash, press and hold the Alt key. While holding it down, tap 0 1 5 1 on the numeric keypad then release the ALT key. An em-dash (the longer one) will appear.

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