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  1. victo
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    victo Active Member

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    em dash

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by victo, May 31, 2015.

    Can three consecutive, unspaced hyphens represent an em dash? Two hyphens just doesn't cut it with me.

    Example:

    Her qualities---perseverance, dedication and commitment---are admirable.

    Thank you.
     
  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would say no. An em-dash is an em-dash. If for some reason you can't produce an em-dash, you use two hyphens. Three hyphens? I can't see why that would ever happen.

    That said, in these days of digital writing, I can't really see a reason for having any number of hyphens replacing an em-dash in a finished product. Put in the em-dashes!
     
  3. victo
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    victo Active Member

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    Okay. I promise I will.
     
  4. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    Doesn't your word processor automatically create one for you?
     
  5. AnonyMouse
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    AnonyMouse Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you are using MS Word, it will usually convert two hyphens into a em dash automatically. Alternatively, you can use the insert function to add one, but that's the long, clunky way to do it. The easy way (and the way I usually use) is to type 2212 and hit alt-X.
     
  6. victo
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    victo Active Member

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    My Word program turns it into an umlaut. Weird.

    I will have to write Microsoft a letter about this.
     
  7. Woof
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    Woof Contributing Member

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    You can control your own autocorrect functions so that pressing any combination of keys you choose produces an en or em dash; accessed via a little rectangle slot style icon with a lightning flash coming from it, top left of the header in Word 2007. I think I set mine to something like CTRL+hyphen and CTRL+ALT+hyphen. What width those are will be determined by the font you're using.
     
  8. victo
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    victo Active Member

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    I'll try that – thanks.
     
  9. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    On my Mac I get an em dash with alt-shift-dash

    dash -
    alt-dash – (en dash)
    alt-shift-dash — (em dash)
     
  10. victo
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    victo Active Member

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    I don't have a Mac, but if I ever get one I'll remember that. Thank you.
     
  11. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Just Google how to make an em dash with [fill in your word processor]. You can find just about anything that way.

    Here:
    1. There are three ways you can do this:
      1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Minus (on the numeric keypad)
      2. Hold down the Alt key as you type 0151 on the numeric keypad.
      3. Choose Symbol from the Insert menu, and then select Em Dash from the Special Characters tab.
    2. Inserting an Em Dash (Microsoft Word) - Microsoft Word Tips
     
  12. Woof
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    Woof Contributing Member

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    I had to wipe my computer, I'm putting all my pernickity settings back in and I've just realised I told you the wrong place to change your keyed shortcuts for Word.

    Insert>Symbol>More symbols>Special Characters will show you a list of all the preset shortcuts. I changed mine from minus to hyphen because the number pad is too far over to be convenient with the amount I use them (!), so to do this: highlight the one you want to change>Shortcut>press key combination you want to use>Assign.
     
  13. victo
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    victo Active Member

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    Cool. Thanks.
     

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