Welcome to Copy Dashes
Copy Dashes is the easiest way to insert an en dash or em dash on any device.
What is an En Dash?
It is my favorite punctuation mark, because it serves the grammatical purpose of a semicolon or parentheses without losing the emphasis – in fact, it adds emphasis. There is a space on either side. In some fonts, it is the same width as the letter n.
What is an Em Dash?
It functions the same way as an en dash—except there is no need for spaces on either side. Usually a publication will choose whether they prefer en dashes or em dashes, and use their choice consistently. In some fonts, it is the same width as the letter m.
How to Insert an En Dash or an Em Dash
There are many ways to insert an en dash or em dash, depending on the program that you're using. For example:
- In Microsoft Word, you can insert an en dash by typing a hyphen surrounded by two spaces. Or, for an em dash, type two hyphens in a row.
- In Chrome, you can use an extension such as ChromeDash.
- In HTML, you can type "–" for an en dash, or type "—" for an em dash.
- In Google Docs, you can click "Insert" and then "Special Character," and search for "en dash" or "em dash."
- In a browser, you can search Google for "en dash" or "em dash." If the search results contain the dash you want, then you can select it and copy it to your clipboard.
However, none of these options work consistently across all programs and devices. What if you want to use an en dash in a plain text file? What if you want to include an em dash in a text message on your phone? Is there any way to type an en dash or em dash on Android or iPhone?
To insert an en dash or em dash anywhere, follow these steps:
- Go to copydashes.com.
- Click the name of the dash you want.
- The dash is now copied to your clipboard.
- Go to where you want to paste the dash.
- Paste the dash.
Pasting methods vary, but usually you can use one of these actions to paste text:
- Right-click and "paste"
- "Edit" menu and "paste"
- Ctrl-V (control and V on keyboard)
- Cmd-V (command and V on keyboard)
How to Insert a Minus Sign
You can follow the same steps to insert a minus sign as to insert an en dash or em dash. This is less common because usually a hyphen will suffice, but it may be useful for math or financial purposes.
How to Insert a Hyphen
You could follow the same steps for a hyphen too, but why would you? Just type the hyphen key on your keyboard. The "copy hyphen" button is only here so that all the major dashes are included, making this the number one place to copy dashes.