How to type an em dash on a pc or mac

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Brady Gavin has been immersed in công nghệ for 15 years and has written over 150 detailed tutorials & explainers. He"s covered everything from Windows 10 registry hacks khổng lồ Chrome browser tips. Brady has a diploma in Computer Science from Camosun College in Victoria, BC. Read more...

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Standard keyboards don’t have sầu dedicated keys for special punctuation marks, such as an en or em dash, if you want to lớn use them in Google Docs. Here’s how you can create hyphens & dashes in your documents.

As we are a technology website, we won’t go inkhổng lồ detail about when và how lớn use each khung of punctuation. Instead, you can check out what a hyphen, en dash, & em dash are if you’re unsure when to lớn use each punctuation mark. Essentially, a hyphen is a dash (-), an en dash is the length of two dashes (–), và an em dash is the length of three dashes (—).


Manually Create Hyphens and Dashes

The first thing you’ll need lớn vày is fire up your browser và open a Google Docs tệp tin khổng lồ get started.

A hyphen is the easiest punctuation mark khổng lồ create in Google Docs. Likely, your keyboard already has a key just for this purpose. Depending on the layout of the keyboard, the hyphen key is at the top and beside the zero (0) key. All you have sầu to lớn do is press it, & that’s it. Hyphen created.

En và em dashes are a little more tricky lớn find. Keyboards don’t have sầu keys that are dedicated to these punctuation marks. Unless you’re a professional writer, you probably aren’t going to be using them that often.


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Although you could enter the corresponding Alt key code for either en or em dash, you have an easier way to insert them into your document. Docs has a Special Characters tool that lets you add them without having khổng lồ rethành viên their codes.

Click on your document where you want lớn insert the dash, open the “Insert” menu, và then click “Special Characters.”

After the tool opens, type “em dash” or “en dash” inlớn the tìm kiếm bar & then click the symbol from the results on the left.

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Note: Several types of en và em dashes show up in the tìm kiếm results. To be sure you choose the right one, hover the mouse over each one before you click on it.

When you cliông chồng on the dash you want, it gets inserted directly inlớn the tệp tin where the cursor is in your document.

If you rarely use en và em dashes, this method is excellent. However, if you use them a lot, you can tell Docs to lớn automatically format hyphens inlớn en or em dashes.

Automatically Create Dashes

Microsoft Word has a built-in function—AutoFormat—that automatically converts hyphens into en and em dashes when you type -- and --- , respectively. Google Docs doesn’t replace them by default. However, you can tell it to lớn convert strings of characters inkhổng lồ whatever you want, such as special characters lượt thích en and em dashes.


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From your Google Docs tệp tin, use the method above sầu to insert an en dash or em dash into lớn your document, highlight the dash character, right-cliông xã it, & then click “Copy.” Alternatively, press Ctrl+C on Windows or Command+C on macOS khổng lồ copy the symbol.

Next, select the “Tools” menu & then click “Preferences.”

In the Automatic Substitution section, type either two or three hyphens into the “Replace” field. Next, paste the copied dash into lớn the “With” field by right-clicking the box và selecting “Paste” or by pressing Ctrl+V on Windows or Command+V on macOS. Clichồng “OK” to lớn save the changes and cthua trận the window.

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Now, repeat these steps for the other type of dash và that’s it. The next time you need khổng lồ insert a dash, just type either two or three hyphens for an en or em dash. Docs does the rest và automatically converts them without the Special Characters tool.


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Brady GavinBrady Gavin has been immersed in giải pháp công nghệ for 15 years và has written over 150 detailed tutorials and explainers. He"s covered everything from Windows 10 registry hacks to Chrome browser tips. Brady has a diploma in Computer Science from Camosun College in Victoria, BC. Read Full Bio »

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