When you need an em dash, you can let Word enter it for you the easy way. If that approach doesn't suit your needs, try one of three manual methods.
- 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:
- From the Tools menu, choose AutoCorrect Options.
- Click the AutoFormat As You Type tab.
- Uncheck the Hyphens ( -- ) With ( -- ) option.
- 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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