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

Microsoft WordUsing the Microsoft Word AutoFormat feature, users can create both an en dash and em dash using hyphens. They may also be inserted manually using the Menu bar at the top of the screen. The following sections have details for each of the aforementioned methods.

Using the AutoFormat Feature

Em Dash Steps

To insert an em dash, type this exactly without any other keys in between: Word, Hyphen, Hyphen, Word, Space.

For example, typing:

Something--Something(space)

converts the line to:

Something — Something

Tip: With Num Lock enabled, you can also use the shortcut combination CTRL + Alt + Minus to create and Em dash. (Minus is on the Keypad.)

En dash steps

To insert an en dash, type this exactly without any other keys in between: Word, Space, Hyphen, Space,Word, Space.

For example, typing:

1993 - 1995(space)

converts the line to:

1993 – 1995

Tip: With Num Lock enabled, you can also use the shortcut combination CTRL + Minus to create and En dash. (Minus is on the Keypad.)

Inserting En and Em dashes manually

  1. In an open Microsoft Word document, click Insert in the Menu bar.
  2. From the dropdown or side menu click Symbol.
  3. If you don't see the dashes there, click More Symbols...
  4. Find the appropriate dash in the character map, or just click on the special characters tab and they should be at the top.
  5. Click Insert.

Additional information

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