Software

Office challenge: How do you enter an m-dash in PowerPoint?

This week, read how other solved last week's Outlook challenge and contribute to this week's PowerPoint challenge.

Most of you are probably familiar with the [Ctrl]+[Alt]+- keystroke combination that inserts an m-dash into a Word document. (That - sign is the minus sign on the numeric keypad; the minus sign on the regular keyboard won't do.) Unfortunately, the combo doesn't always work in PowerPoint—so how would you insert one of these dashes?

Last week we asked:

How would you provide reusable content for Outlook messages? That's a big question and there are many ways to answer it! TexasJetter mentioned two built-in features: Add a signature line that's included in all messages and using a custom form, complete with the shared content. L.m.zuelke uses signature lines for multiple blocks of content. Joaquim Amado Lopes suggested Quick Parts—a great way to have easy access to reusable content—and templates (one I didn't think of when I posed the challenge). Several of you had a quick discussion about AutoCorrect, which is one of my favorite methods in all the Office applications. A few of you like to save reusable content in a Draft message, which is a creative solution for sure! It was a great challenge, as usual.

You covered a number of good solutions—if anyone has any trouble finding more information about reusable content, let me know and we'll work through an example.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

13 comments
stapleb
stapleb

Using PowerPoint 2007. If you type a space, then two hyphens, then a space, they will convert to an m-dash. If you type a word, two hyphens, another word (no spaces this time), they will convert to an n-dash. (Think I have the n and m around the right way.)

allancharlton
allancharlton

Alt+I opens the Symbol window. Select the dash you want and click the Insert button, then the Close button. Done.

RR Flyer
RR Flyer

To make the em-dash easy to use on a more permanent basis, click on the 'Office Button' in the upper left-hand corner. Click the 'PowerPoint Options' button. Select 'Proofing.' Click the 'AutoCorrect Options.' On the 'AutoFormat As You Type' tab place a check in the box next to "Hyphens (--) with Dash (?)." Now, as you enter text on a slide, pressing the hyphen twice will cause AutoCorrect to replace the hyphen with the long dash.

Randy Hagan
Randy Hagan

Use the standard code for an em dash extended character in any Windows application: the Alt key plus the four character extension 0151 from the number keypad. That'll get you an em dash every time.

bharned
bharned

On-line search has produced no definition of M-Dash. Guess I backwards, stupid or something, I just want to know; whats the difference of a simple dash (shift - on number keys) and a M-Dash? What does the M stand for? Why and when am I required to use it?

Jeremy Oh
Jeremy Oh

for me its alt + 0150 on the num pad

Marc Thibault
Marc Thibault

Hold down the Alt key and enter 0151 on the numeric keypad.

dhays
dhays

It is mostly a size difference between a dash and a hyphen. One is longer then the other.

hafizullah
hafizullah

A simple dash is a hyphen. An En-dash is longer, called so because it is the en-length of the particular font it's part of, and the Em-dash is the em-length of the font. These are typographical terms, and good typography uses them. In Word, you can enter the en-dash using Ctrl and the numeric-keypad minus sign. Enter an em-dash using Ctrl-Alt numpad-minus. Read about them here: http://www.mentalfloss.com/difference/en-dash-vs-em-dash/

hafizullah
hafizullah

It's an en-dash, used typographically to indicate a range of values, e.g., "10:00 AM ? Noon."

Editor's Picks