How can I type an en dash?

On OS X, I can type Alt + - (hyphen). On Windows, I can type Alt+0150.

If you're not familiar with the different types of dashes, you can read about them here.


You have to press Ctrl + Shift + u (for Unicode characters) then add the respective hexadecimal number of your symbol, which you can get from the Character Map (gucharmap) and press enter. In your case this would be 2013 or 2010.

  • 1
    Thanks. Is it possible to map this to a shortcut?
    – Joe Mornin
    Feb 22 '16 at 22:52
  • 3
    After searching around, it looks like Compose+--. is the fastest way—but if there's something even faster, that would be great.
    – Joe Mornin
    Feb 23 '16 at 0:57

Compose+--. is the fastest way.


As the community wiki says

Compose+--. is the fastest way.

NOTE: That is Compose + - (a hyphen keypress), a second press of that same key, and a . (period keypress), all in close succession.

But for those wondering what a "Compose key" is, it's a key not found on many modern American keyboards ... but that doesn't mean you're out of luck. You can enable a "Compose" key using your OS variant's keyboard tool.

For instance, in Linux Mint you would go to keyboard settings (or "preferences"), click the Layout tab, click the Options button, and then use Position of Compose Key option to set which key on your keyboard you want to use.

I picked the right Windows key on my keyboard, and from that point on I could press that key, and then the hyphen key three times, to generate an em dash, or that key, a period, and two hyphens to generate an en dash.

  • As LM is not Ubuntu, I don't see the merit to this answer. Keyboard Preferences GUIs are different from distro to distro. Sep 25 '20 at 8:10
  • 1
    Ubuntu has an equivalent dialog, but you may have to sudo apt install gnome-tweak-tool first. Sep 25 '20 at 22:46

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