Different dashes are used for different uses. The only real difference in the dashes is the width of them.
As you know, you get one type of dash when you use the minus key on your keyboard – it is very narrow.
A longer dash is called an En dash because it is the same width of a lowercase letter n on your keyboard. An En dash is usually used to denote a range of numbers.
An even wider dash is the Em dash, which is (you guessed it) as wide as the lowercase letter m on your keyboard. This dash is ordinarily used in sentences.
Follow the steps below to learn how to insert the En dash and the Em dash in your documents.
- To insert an En dash in your document use your Numeric keypad (numpad) and simply depress and hold your Alt key while simultaneously keying in 0150.
- To insert the Em dash in your document use your numpad and depress your Alt key while simultaneously keying in 0151.
- Of course, you could also use the Special Characters tab of your Symbol dialog box to add these dashes as well, but who would want to go all that extra time, etc.? Certainly not me!
I am sure you have used the En and Em dashes while working in Word and they work exactly the same way in Excel. The only drawback to using En and Em dashes in Excel is that Excel will automatically see the information in your cell as text because you didn’t use the regular minus sign.