There are three different types of dashes in English writing. Em dash is just one of them.

An em dash is also known as a long dash. It is a dash longer than an en dash (–) and three times as long as a hyphen (-).

If you are looking for an easy way to type this em dash in Word, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, you’ll learn about 6 amazing ways you can use to type this dash into your Word document for both windows and Mac users.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

Em Dash Quick Rescue

Em dash other Nameslong dash
Em dash Symbol
Em dash Alt codeAlt+0151
Em dash shortcut (Windows)Ctrl+Alt+Minus (on numeric keypad)
Em dash shortcut (Mac)Command (⌘) + M
Character Code2014, Alt+X

The table above contains all the information you need to type the em dash sign into your Word document.

However, below are the step by step break down on how to type it.

OPTION 1: Em dash shortcut

I love shortcuts for the time it saves.

So, my first option will show you how to insert this sign in Word using a keyboard shortcut.

Below are two easy ways you can type the em dash in word using a keyboard shortcut.

Em dash shortcut 1 (Windows):

Ctrl+Alt+Minus (on the numeric keypad)

To type this shortcut for the em dash, obey the following instructions:

If you are using a keyboard with a separate numeric keypad:

  • simultaneously press and hold the Ctrl and the Alt keys, then press the Minus key on the numeric keypad at the right-hand side of the keyboard.

If you are using a keyboard without a separate numeric keypad (such as a mini laptop), use the following instructions:

  • Turn on the Num Lock key by pressing Fn + NumLk together.
  • Locate the Minus key on the laptop’s numeric keypad.
Em dash shortcut 1: Ctrl+Alt+Minus (on numeric keypad)
  • Press Ctrl + Alt plus this Minus key to type the em dash into your Word document.

NOTE: This will not work if you use the minus key just before the equal sign key. It works only with the minus key on the numeric keypad.

Em dash shortcut 2 – Alt Code

If the above shortcut didn’t work for you, here’s another one you can use.

Alt + 0151 (on the numeric keypad)

To use this shortcut, obey the following instructions:

  • Press and hold the Alt key
  • Then type the code 0151 on the numeric keypad

This will insert the em dash symbol into your Word document.

Em dash shortcut 3 (Mac):

If you are on mac, below is a shortcut to help you type the em dash sign in Word.

Command (⌘) + M

Type this sign on Mac, press and hold the Command (⌘) key and the hit the M key.

The above shortcuts are all valid ways you can use to type the em dash in Word.

For more interesting options, continue reading.

Option two: AutoFormat

MS Word has a feature called AutoFormat which automatically format certain characters when you type them into your document.

Leveraging this feature, you can easily type the Em dash into your Word document. Just obey the instructions below:

  • Type a word. Don’t type any space after the word.
  • Next, type two hyphens. Again, don’t type any space between or after these hyphens.
  • Type the second word.
  • Now type a space.
Em dash Auto Format

As soon as you hit the space bar, the two hyphens will convert into an em dash.

Option 3: em dash copy paste

Inserting the em dash sign into your work can be as simple as copy and paste.

This option is not limited to only MS Word. You can as well copy and paste it into any text editing software of your choice.

Below is the Em dash symbol if you just want to copy and paste it into your Work:

Option 4: Using the Insert Symbol Dialog

Aside from the previous options, you can also use the insert symbol dialog to insert the em dash sign into your Word document.

However, this option isn’t as straight forward as the previous options. But it’s fairly simple. And once you manage to get it into your work, you can always copy and paste it again whenever you need to use it.

Obey the steps below to insert the em dash sign in Word using the insert symbol dialog.

  • Click on the Insert tab
  • Go to Symbol>More Symbols
Go to Insert Tab>Symbols>Symbol>More Symbols

The Symbol dialog box appears.

  • Locate the em dash symbol from the library of symbols.

To easily locate this symbol, at the top right area of the window, select General Punctuation from the Subset: drop-down.

how to type em dash in word
  • Select the symbol and then click on the Insert button. You can also double click on the symbol to insert it into your Word document.
  • Click the Cancel button to close the window.

This is how you may use the insert symbol dialog to insert the em dash sign into your Word document.

Option 5: Using Unicode Character Code

This option is very similar to using the Alt Code shortcut.

However, these codes don’t work in any software except Microsoft Word.

With that being said, obey the following steps to type the em dash in Word using its Character Code:

  • Type 2014
  • Then press Alt+X

This will convert the code (2014) into an em dash.

Option 6: Use your own shortcut

Another way you can easily type em dash in word is to assign your own keyboard shortcut to it.

This way, only you can use this shortcut.

As this method is very simple, it requires some set-up beforehand. You only need to perform the setup once to assign your own shortcut before you can start using it.

Follow the steps below to assign your own em dash shortcut in Word:

  • Click on the Insert tab
  • Go to Symbol>More Symbols

The Symbol dialog box appears.

  • Locate the em dash symbol from the library of symbols.

To easily locate this symbol, at the top right area of the window, select General Punctuation from the Subset: drop-down.

  • Click to select the em dash sign.
  • Click on the Shortcut Key button.
em dash shortcut

This will display the Customize Keyboard window.

  • From this window, enter your new shortcut key in the Press new shortcut key box. In this example, I’ll use Ctrl+E+M as my em dash shortcut. Thus, whenever I type these keys on the keyboard, the em dash will be inserted.
asign new  em dash shortcut
  • Now click on Assign to add it to your shortcuts.

That’s it. You’ve successfully added your own shortcut into Word.

Now that you have your own em dash, anytime you need this sign, just type these keys to insert it into your Word document.