How do I insert an en dash or em dash in Microsoft Word?

Microsoft WordUsing the Microsoft Word AutoFormat feature users can insert both an en dash and em dash by following the steps below.

Em dash steps

To insert an em dash,  do not enter a space, and then type two hyphens. For example, typing:

this is--a test

converts the line to:

this is—a test

Or if you find yourself needing to use this a lot, you can also do the same thing by using the shortcut key CTRL + Alt + <hyphen on the number pad>.

En dash steps

To insert an en dash, move the cursor between the words, add a space, type two hyphens, and another space and the next word. For example, typing:

this is -- a test

converts the line to:

this is – a test

Additional information

  • See our em dash and en dash definitions for further information and related links on these terms.