Hyphen, en-dash, em-dash on a (standard) laptop keyboard?

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sisedesnonis

Senior Member
Italian-Venetian
Hi everybody, I was just wondering this thing, since I'm a little confused. I know how to use these punctuation marks (at least I think so!) but I can't really locate them on a (standard) keyboard. I just can seee teh hyphen, which is on the second-to-last row, between the full stop and the SHIFT button, and, pushing this button you get an underscore (is all of this right? I'd like a confirmation, please).
But what about the other two? How do you find the en-dash and em-dash? Thank you!
 
  • Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    But what about the other two? How do you find the en-dash and em-dash? Thank you!
    They are not on the keyboard. In word-processing programs (such a Microsoft Word) you can usually get them by typing some shortcut, such as Ctrl+- for an en dash or -- (two hyphens) for an em dash. Other than that -- for example, if you want to use them in this forum -- you will generally have to cut and paste them from somewhere else or use the appropriate ASCII shortcut.
     

    sisedesnonis

    Senior Member
    Italian-Venetian
    They are not on the keyboard. In word-processing programs (such a Microsoft Word) you can usually get them by typing some shortcut, such as Ctrl+- for an en dash or -- (two hyphens) for an em dash. Other than that -- for example, if you want to use them in this forum -- you will generally have to cut and paste them from somewhere else or use the appropriate ASCII shortcut.
    Ok thank you very much, I've just discovered how to write an en-dash – and an em-dash — !:)
    By the way, prior to knowing the difference between an en-dash an an em-dash (now I learned also how to use both of them) I just knew "dash" in general, without any adjective to characterize it. But does it exist? I mean, does a "dash" exist which is neither an en-dash nor an em-dash?
     

    SwissPete

    Senior Member
    Français (CH), AE (California)
    Google search: hyphen versus ndash

    More than you wanted to know!

    An n-dash is called that because in typography it is the same width as an 'n'. Conversely, an m-dash is the width of an 'm'.


     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    I just knew "dash" in general, without any adjective to characterize it. But does it exist? I mean, does a "dash" exist which is neither an en-dash nor an em-dash?
    No. There are other types of dashes, though they only really have relevance in typesetting (Wikipedia for instance mentions the figure dash). In practice, since en-dashes are rarely used and are almost indistinguishable from hyphens in any case, it is only really em-dashes that most people need worry about (well, "most people" don't worry about them at all). It is the only character I routinely copy and paste from elsewhere when posting here.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    This technical question is outside the scope of our forum.
    You can find answers on forums set up to handle this sort of question by searching for 'keyboard stroke em-dash', for instance.

    The thread is closed.

    Cagey, moderator
     
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