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Shortcuts for en-dash and em-dash

    General discussion

  • Many people miss easy to use shortcuts for typing en-dash and em-dash, like other systems have them. Word has an auto-correction while typing a hyphen with spaces, but this 1. only works in Word and 2. doesn't work when inserting it between existing words. Many users symply use hyphens, but that's wrong in cases where an en-dash or em-dash should be used.

    Word also has shortcuts for typing en-dash and em-dash with the minus on the numeric keypad, but 1. this is logically wrong because en-dash and em-dash are punctuation marks and not arithmetic operators, 2. not every keyboard has an numeric keypad, e.g. on laptops and 3. this still only works in Word.

    Similar to other systems Windows should use Alt+hyphen for en-dash and Alt+Shift+hyphen for em-dash. Systemwide and with the normal hyphen and not the minus on numeric keypad.

    Monday, March 05, 2012 9:39 AM

All replies

  • I totally agree! That's one of my biggest wishes for Windows since many years.

    As somebody who has to write very much you need these different dashes because they have a meaning in a sentence. And the way Windows handles it today is very annoying. Other systems do it better and I think Windows should have this too.

    In another forum I wrote about other shortcuts to use, but you're totally right: the combinations with Ctrl are used for non-breaking hyphens and soft-hyphens. And Alt already is the modifier key for special characters.

    So Alt+hyphen for en-dash and Alt+Shift+hyphen for em-dash are perfect for this. On the Mac and other systems it is the same combination.


    Monday, March 05, 2012 12:22 PM
  • I support that too.

    Two thumbs up.

    Monday, March 05, 2012 9:09 PM
  • Great idea!

    I hope Microsoft will do that.

    Saturday, March 10, 2012 3:43 PM
  • Thanks for all the positive feedback.

    That's really my biggest wish for Windows for years.

    Monday, March 12, 2012 9:07 PM