How to Make an En Dash in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide for Users

If you’ve ever been stuck wondering how to make an en dash in Word, you’re not alone. In this guide, we’ll quickly walk you through the different methods to achieve this. Whether you prefer using keyboard shortcuts or navigating through Word’s menus, we’ve got you covered.

How to Make an En Dash in Word

By following these steps, you’ll be able to insert an en dash seamlessly into your Word documents. An en dash is a handy punctuation mark often used to indicate a range of numbers or a connection between words. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Place Your Cursor

Click in your document where you want the en dash to appear.

It’s important to accurately position your cursor because the en dash will be inserted at this exact spot.

Step 2: Use the Keyboard Shortcut

Press Ctrl + the minus key on the numeric keypad.

Note that this shortcut may not work on laptops without a numeric keypad. If you’re using a laptop, proceed to the next method.

Step 3: Use Word Menu

Go to Insert > Symbol > More Symbols.

Navigate through the menu to find the en dash option. This method is foolproof but involves more clicks.

Step 4: Select the En Dash from the List

In the Symbol dialog box, select the en dash and click Insert.

This step ensures that you insert the correct symbol. The en dash looks similar to a hyphen but is slightly longer.

Step 5: Set AutoCorrect Option

Go to File > Options > Proofing > AutoCorrect Options.

Under the AutoCorrect tab, you can set a specific keystroke combination to automatically turn into an en dash.

After completing these steps, you’ll see the en dash in your document, exactly where you placed your cursor.

Tips for Making an En Dash in Word

  • Ensure Num Lock is on when using the numeric keypad shortcut.
  • Customize your AutoCorrect options to save time in the future.
  • Familiarize yourself with Word’s Symbol dialog box for other special characters.
  • Use the en dash correctly to show ranges or connections, not as a hyphen.
  • Practice these steps to become more efficient in your document formatting.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between an en dash and a hyphen?

A hyphen is shorter and connects words, while an en dash indicates ranges or relationships.

Can I make an en dash on a Mac?

Yes, use Option + minus (-) to create an en dash on Mac.

What if my keyboard doesn’t have a numeric keypad?

Use the Insert > Symbol method if your keyboard lacks a numeric keypad.

How do I use AutoCorrect for an en dash?

Set a specific keystroke combination in AutoCorrect options to replace it with an en dash.

Why is my en dash not appearing?

Ensure you’re using the correct method and your software is up to date.


  1. Place your cursor
  2. Use the keyboard shortcut
  3. Use Word Menu
  4. Select the en dash from the list
  5. Set AutoCorrect option


There you have it—a straightforward guide on how to make an en dash in Word. By following these steps, you’ll be able to insert an en dash wherever you need it in your document. Feel free to experiment with both the keyboard shortcut and the menu options to see which method you prefer.

Special characters like the en dash might seem trivial, but they play a crucial role in making your writing clear and professional. So go ahead, practice these steps, and make your Word documents stand out. If you found this guide helpful, check out our other articles for more tips and tricks on Word and other software. Happy typing!