MacMost Q&A Forum • View All Forum QuestionsAsk a Question

How Do I Type a Long Dash When There Isn’t One On the Keyboard?

When I have typed a document using dashes and then check “spelling and grammar”, why does it want me to ‘correct’ the dashes to long dashes? And why is there no long dash on the keyboard for me to use to avoid this? It seems the only alternatives are a short dash or a dash at the bottom of the line.

Why is there not a long dash on the keyboard to use and avoid Pages correcting the short dash?
Jim Dryden

Comments: 2 Responses to “How Do I Type a Long Dash When There Isn’t One On the Keyboard?”

    2 years ago

    Grammatically, a long dash (en-dash or em-dash) is the correct thing to use, not a dash (AKA "hypen") so that is why it is a suggestion.

    You can type an en-dash on U.S. keyboards with Option and the dash key. For a longer em-dash use Shift+Option+dash. Typically the en-dash is used for ranges of numbers, like 50–100, and the em-dash is used for breaks in a sentence — like this.

    Computer keyboards are pretty standard so I don't think Apple would create a specialized keyboard with a en-dash and em-dash keys.

    In Pages, Preferences, Auto-Correct, if you have "Use Smart Quotes and Dashes" turned on, it should automatically convert two hyphens into an em-dash. You can also go to System Preferences, Keyboard, Text and set an automatic replacement to substitute the em-dash for two hyphens so it works that way everywhere.

    Jim Dryden
    2 years ago

    Thank you for a prompt and comprehensive answer!

Comments Closed.