Loading
Excel.Tips.Net ExcelTips (Menu Interface)

Inserting Different Dashes

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Inserting Different Dashes.

Typographers use different dashes for different purposes. The only difference between the dashes is their width. For instance, you get one type of dash when you press on the minus key—it is a dash that is very narrow. A longer dash is called an en dash, because it is the same width as a lowercase n. An en-dash is typically used to denote ranges of numbers. Wider still is the em-dash, which is just as wide as a lowercase m. The em-dash is typically used in sentences, as a dash between clauses.

To insert an en-dash in your document, hold down the Alt key and type 0150 on the numeric keypad; an em-dash is produced by holding down the Alt key and typing 0151. (Make sure you type the numbers on the numeric keypad. If you type them using any other numeric keys, it won't work.) You could also use the Special Characters tab of the Symbol dialog box to add the dashes.

You may be familiar with using em- and en-dashes from working with Word. They work the same way in Excel. The only caveat is that when you use special dashes (as opposed to a regular minus sign), Excel automatically treats the information in your cell as text.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2118) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Inserting Different Dashes.

Related Tips:

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

 

Comments for this tip:

Yoree    05 Feb 2013, 22:12
Thank you for this tip! I just today had an issue involving hyphens, negative symbol and en dashes....

I had a lat/long value in one cell, that is effectively a text value

40.12345, -79.12345

When I decreased the column size and wrapped text, the cell appeared as follows

40.12345, -
79.12345

But if I replaced the hyphen with a en-dash (I typed Alt 0150 in the replace box), wrapping text gave me the desired result.

40.12345,
-79.12345

Thanks for the handy tip!
 
Jim    04 Feb 2013, 23:04
Thanks, Jerrold. I must have some configuration issue on my laptop. I'll check Lenovo's help for why that isn't working.
Jerrold    02 Feb 2013, 11:39
Notice that on your laptop there are numbers printed on the keys u,i,o, and j,k,l and m. Just like the numeric keypad.

Hold down the Fn and the Alt key (at the same time) and use these numbers to get to your ASCII characters. For instance, hold down, Fn and Alt key and key in m,j,i,m. That will give you the en-dash.
Jim    02 Feb 2013, 10:16
Since I work on a laptop, it appears that I cannot use the keyboard to produce the en dash and em dash. I tried the number keys at the top of the keyboard, and the alternate number keys embedded in the keyboard (which I thought was accessed by holding down the Fn key, about which I appear to be mistaken). The Insert Symbol menu command will have to do, even though it is a little tedious to find the characters in the dialog box. Does anyone out there know how to use the keyboard on a laptop to get the ASCII character codes to work?
Fred Burg    02 Feb 2013, 09:08
Grammatically there's a difference between a hyphen and a dash. It should be noted that the "dash" on the keyboard is used as a hyphen in hypenated words. Like good-bye.

Leave your own comment:

*Name:
Email:
  Notify me about new comments ONLY FOR THIS TIP
Notify me about new comments ANYWHERE ON THIS SITE
Hide my email address
*Text:
*What is 4+5 (To prevent automated submissions and spam.)
 
          Commenting Terms
 
 

Our Company

Sharon Parq Associates, Inc.

About Tips.Net

Contact Us

 

Advertise with Us

Our Privacy Policy

Our Sites

Tips.Net

Beauty and Style

Cars

Cleaning

Cooking

DriveTips (Google Drive)

ExcelTips (Excel 97–2003)

ExcelTips (Excel 2007–2013)

Gardening

Health

Home Improvement

Money and Finances

Organizing

Pests and Bugs

Pets and Animals

WindowsTips (Microsoft Windows)

WordTips (Word 97–2003)

WordTips (Word 2007–2013)

Our Products

Premium Newsletters

Helpful E-books

Newsletter Archives

 

Excel Products

Word Products

Our Authors

Author Index

Write for Tips.Net

Copyright © 2014 Sharon Parq Associates, Inc.