• You’ve inserted space characters between the words and the hyphen characters. When you enter spaces between the hyphens, Word formats the hyphens as an en dash ( – ), which is shorter than an em dash.
  • Someone has disabled the AutoCorrect option that formats hyphens as an em dash.

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Now, this default won’t work for everyone every single time. If you occasionally need two hyphens instead of an em dash, you can press [Ctrl]+Z and Word will undo the em dash character and restore the hyphens. If you find yourself doing this a lot, it might be more efficient to disable the AutoCorrect option and enter an em dash, when you require it, manually. You can disable this option as follows:

  1. From the Tools menu, choose AutoCorrect Options.
  2. Click the AutoFormat As You Type tab.
  3. Uncheck the Hyphens ( — ) With ( — ) option.
  4. Click OK.

After disabling the AutoCorrect option, you’ll have to enter an em dash manually. Fortunately, there are three easy methods:

  • Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+-. You must use the minus sign (-) on the numeric keypad; if you use the hyphen character on the alphanumeric keypad, Word will change the cursor.
  • Hold down the [Alt] key and type 0151 on the numeric keypad.
  • Choose Symbol from the Insert menu, click the Special Characters tab, highlight the em dash, and click Insert.

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