How do you make a dash?

There's no punctuation dash on your keyboard. There's a hyphen and an underline, but not a dash. Some people use the hyphen various ways to improvise a dash, like these:

Our new computers - which will arrive next week - will be fast and cheap.

Our new computers--which will arrive next week--will be fast and cheap.

Our new computers -- which will arrive next week -- will be fast and cheap.

All of those, however, are improvising a real dash, which looks like this:

Our new computersówhich will arrive next weekówill be fast and cheap.

If you're using Microsoft Word for Windows, you can usually get a dash by typing two hyphensóWord will then use its AutoCorrect feature to automatically change the pair of hyphens into a real dash. Try it.

If that doesn't work, either of these will:

  • Use this shortcut: Alt+Ctrl+Num - (the minus key on the numerical keypad).
  • Or choose Insert/Symbol and search for a dash.

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