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Automatically format hyphens as en dashes and em dashes

When you type a space and one or two hyphens between text, Microsoft Office Word automatically inserts an en dash ( – ). For example, if you type, "See pages 3 - 10", Word converts it to "See pages 3 - 10".

If you type two hyphens and do not include a space before the hyphens, an em dash ( — ) is created. For example, if you type, "Many pines--including ponderosa and lodge pole--grow here" Word converts it to "Many pines—including ponderosa and lodge pole—grow here".

Undo automatically formatted en and em dashes

You can use the AutoCorrect Options button to change automatically formatted en or em dashes back to hyphens.

  • Rest the pointer near the en or em dash until a small, blue rectangle appears.
  • Point to the rectangle to display the AutoCorrect Options button, and then click the button.
  • Do one of the following:
    • To undo only the selected dash, click Undo Dash.
    • To undo the selected dash and prevent Word from converting future hyphens to dashes, click Stop Automatically Creating Dashes.

Automatically format hyphens as en and em dashes

  • Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Word Options.
  • Click Proofing, and then click AutoCorrect Options.
  • Click the AutoFormat As You Type tab, and then select the Hyphens (--) with dash (–) check box.

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