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How to Type an Em Dash on Windows or Mac

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Check How to Type an Em Dash on Windows or Mac

When it comes to symbols on the Mac, the hyphen (-) or hyphen is surprisingly useful. We use it to separate words (hence the name), draw arrows (->), and form mathematical equations (4 – 2 = 0). However, we often use it where other longer dash symbols would work better, often because we’re not sure how to write dashes. You may sometimes see people typing double (–) or triple (—) hyphens to represent en and em hyphens respectively (and some word processors even feature this), but this approach won’t save you everywhere.

How to write an em dash on macOS

As long as you have a keyboard that is supported or integrated with your Mac or MacBook, typing an em dash is a snap. Just press Option + Shift + the minus key (next to 0 at the top of your keyboard) to produce a —. If you’re using a keyboard designed for Windows instead of Mac, the exact button combination may differ, but if you find which keys work as what, the combination will still work. Some of the options that we will explain below will also work on macOS. However, with such an easy method that works on a system-wide level, there’s probably no good reason to use them.

How to Write an Em Dash in Windows

There’s no denying that Windows users are missing out when it comes to convenient ways to write an em dash. However, there are at least several options, which you can mix and match depending on what you’re doing, to get what you need. If you have a full-size Windows keyboard with a numeric keypad or numpad for short, you can use this code to type an em dash pretty much anywhere.

  • Hold down the Alt key. Either will work, but it’s better to use the one on the left side because you’ll need your right hand for the next step.
  • Now type “0151” on the number pad. A long dash will appear where the cursor is currently located.
  • A more complicated method, but one that works with any keyboard, is to use the Windows 10 emoji keyboard. You can use this to navigate to symbols and then select an em dash.
  • Press the Windows key and the period/period key (.) simultaneously. The Emoji Keyboard should now appear.
  • Click on the rightmost tab with the omega (Ω) symbol on it.
  • Scroll down until you find the em dash symbol (—). Click on it and it will appear in your document at the cursor.

How to Write an Em Script in a Word Processing Application

Most word processing applications have a list of all supported symbols. Although this is definitely a convoluted route to inserting a single punctuation mark, it will give you a boost in compatible software and online tools. Here’s how to do it in Microsoft Word and Google Docs.

  • To get an em dash in Microsoft Word, go to Insert and then to Symbol.
  • Select the “More Symbols” option to get the complete list of special characters.
  • Look in the Punctuation section for the em dash; click Insert when you’re done to insert the em dash into your document.
  • In Google Docs, you can get an em dash by selecting Insert, then Special Characters.
  • From this menu, you can search for the term “em dash” or draw a long line in the drawing box and find the em dash among the search results.
  • Using a code or the icon menu is fine if you want to add a single script, but it gets tedious if you want to keep adding them.
  • Now add your placeholder and em dash (—) in their respective boxes.
  • In Google Docs, the process is similar. Use Ctrl + F (Cmd + F on macOS) to open the Find menu. Then click on the three vertical dots

Final words: How to Type an Em Dash on Windows or Mac

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James Hogan
James Hogan
James Hogan is a senior staff writer at Bollyinside, where he has been covering various topics, including laptops, gaming gear, keyboards, storage, and more. During that period, they evaluated hundreds of laptops and thousands of accessories and built a collection of entirely too many mechanical keyboards for their own use.


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