How to Type Em Dash ( — ) and En Dash ( – ) on Windows

How to Type Em Dash ( — ) and En Dash ( – ) on Windows

Looking to make intermissions look right typographically or give a range of numbers with a dash that is neither too long nor too short? Find out here how (and when) to type em dash (—) and en dash (–) on Windows.

First, Counting Days from February to March

Counting days is barely easy, especially across two months, and worse from February to March.

In Sweden and the 15th century, you had to choose between 28, 29 and 30 (yes, 30, a story of its own) days for February, except for the year 1753, when February had a total of 17 days (to finally synchronize Sweden’s calendar with the Gregorian counting already introduced in Norway and Denmark, for example—with similarly “missing” days).

Maybe we should just write Feb 5–Mar 1 and let the reader do the counting?

How to Type Em Dash ( — ) and En Dash ( – ) on Windows

Using Alt Codes

Time needed: 1 minute

To insert the long em dash and en dash hyphens anywhere on Windows:

  1. Position the text cursor where you want the character to appear.

    Here’s where: Both the en dash for ranges and the em dash for intermissions and interruptions are not typically separated from the surrounding characters with whitespace (though there are exceptions).
    Example: I visited Davos—not too picturesque a setting itself—from June 9–August 27.

  2. Press and hold the Alt key.

  3. Type 0 1 5 1 on the numeric keypad for em dash and 0 1 5 0 for en dash.

    Word: In Word, getting to em and en dash is easier in Word; see below.

On a Mac? How to Insert Em-Dash ( — ) and En-Dash ( – ) on a Mac

Using Character Map

To input en- and em dash using the Windows Character Map application:

  1. Open Character Map.
    Here’s how: Open the Windows Start menu, for example, search for character map, and select Character Map.
  2. Click the Search for : field.
    No search: If you do not see Search for :, check Advanced view first.
  3. Type em dash or en dash for the respective characters.
  4. Now click Search.
  5. Highlight the desired character.
  6. Click Select.
  7. Now click Copy to copy em or en dash to the clipboard for pasting.
    Find and copy em dash using Character Map on Windows

Using Copy and Paste

Instead of typing Alt-codes, you can also paste the dash characters, of course.

Em dash
En dash

How to Insert Em Dash and En Dash in Word for Windows

Word for Windows includes shortcuts as well as text replacement that make inserting dashes easier.

To insert emdash and endash using Word for Windows keyboard shortcuts:

  • Press Ctrl Alt - (minus on the number keypad) for em dash.
  • Press Ctrl - (minus on the numeric keypad) for en dash.

To use text replacement for quickly entering em dash and en dash in Word:

  1. Type two dashes to insert an em dash: --.
    En dash: Type - (whitespace followed by a dash followed by another whitespace character) for the en dash.
  2. Follow with any other character.

How to Type Em Dash ( — ) and En Dash ( – ) on Windows: FAQ

Can I enter em dash or en dash with the Windows emoji panel?

No.

The Windows emoji panel does not include hyphens such as em dash or en dash.

How do I insert em dash and en dash using LaTeX?

To insert an em dash in LaTeX, use \textemdash (or ---, three dashes); for en dash, employ \textendash or -- (two dashes).

Example

\begin{tabular}{rl}
	\textbackslash{}textemdash: & \textemdash \\
	-{}-{}-: & --- \\
	\textbackslash{}textendash: & \textendash \\
	-{}-: & -- \\
\end{tabular}

This example produces the following output:

em dash and en dash in LaTeX

(How to type em dash ( — ) and en dash ( – ) tested with Windows 10 Version 22H2 and Windows 11 Version 2302; first published March 2024)

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