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Types of Hyphen & Dash in Microsoft Word.


Posted Date: 17-Nov-2010  Last Updated:   Category: Performance & Optimization    
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Types of Hyphen & Dash in Microsoft Word.


Hyphen & Dash In Microsoft Word, we have lots of small connector lines available for our usage. They are called or known as 'Hyphen and Dash' . Many of the Microsoft Word users do not know how to use these Hyphens and Dashes and for them I have written this article. Many of us do not differentiate between various types of Hyphens and Dashes that Microsoft Word offers us.

Microsoft Word gives us three types of Hyphens and two types of Dashes. If we know the difference and usage of those Hyphens and Dashes, we may utilize the same to a greater extent correctly. Let us discuss the various types hereunder:

1. Regular Hyphen: This regular Hyphen can be had by just pressing the Hyphen key in our keyboard. This Hyphen is available next to the digit 0 in our keyboard. Many of us, use this key as Dash key. When we use compound words in English, we should use this Hyphen. For example, the word 'mix-up'. If such words appear at the end of a line in Word, then the second part of the word would appear as the first word in the next line. The first part of the word and Hyphen will stay only in the first line.

2. Optional Hyphen: We will use this Optional Hyphen only on special occassions. For example, if we want to show how an English word should be written in parts, then we can use this Optional Hyphen through the parts of the word or even between letters. To use this Optional Hyphen, we have use the 'Control Key + Regular Hyphen Key'. To get the Optional Hyphen in Microsoft Word, we have to first enable the 'Hyphenation Tool'. This will enable the Optional Hyphenation when a word is placed on the right end side of a Word Document. However, only if we put the Hyphen in the right side of such words, we will get the same in the print.

3. Non breaking Hyphen: We can get the Non breaking Hyphen by pressing 'Control Key + Shift Key + the Regular Hyphen Key' in our keyboard. By using this Non breaking Hyphen, we instruct the Word that the words with such Hyphenation should not broken even when they reach the right end side of a document and therefore, the entire word will be set to appear in the next line of the document only by using this Non breaking Hyphen. This facility is mostly useful for us when we type Telephone numbers with S.T.D. Codes in word document.

4. En Dash: This is also known as Typing Dash and it will occupy the space allotted for a single alphabet viz., 'n' and therefore the name. This Dash Key is generally used to denote the numeric range between numbers. For example the number range from 3 to 10 can be denoted as '3-10'. To get this Dash key, we should type 'Control Key + the minus Key in the numeric Key pad or Alt Key + 0150 in the numeric key pad' of the Key board. If required, Word will separate only the second number or part of this En Dash and this En Dash will be found attached only with the first number or part.

5. Em Dash: This Dash key is named as it occupies the space for the alphabet 'm' while using the same. But the display may vary according to the Font Type. Generally its expected to occupy twice the space allotted for En Dash Key. This Em Dash is generally used in sentences and mostly if you want to convey a converse meaning to your previous sentence, this comes handy. To get the Em Dash, we have to type the Hyphen key two times in Word. If we wish to have the same Em Dash in some other method, we can use 'Control Key + Alt Key + minus Key in Numeric Key Pad' or we have to use 'Alt Key + 0151 in Numeric Key pad'. As observed earlier this Em Dash too will stay with the first part of separation and the second part will go to the next line.

This is the method to use Hyphen and Dash in Microsoft Word to have proper effect.
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