You may want to quickly add an em dash within your text container—be it a placeholder, text box, shape, or even a table. It's very easy to add an em dash in PowerPoint for Windows or even the Mac, but what if you are using the browser-based PowerPoint for the Web? Yes, you can add an em dash in PowerPoint for the Web, and again there is more than one way to achieve this task.
What’s an Em Dash?
An Em Dash is a dash that's roughly as wide as the capital letter M. Characters can be wider or less wide, depending on the font used. The M in Arial is wider than the M in Calibri, as you can see in Figure 1, below. Depending upon the font used, the width of your em dash can differ.
Figure 1: Width of the em dash depends upon the font used
One aspect though will always be constant—the em dash will be longer than the en dash, which is similarly roughly based on the width of the capital letter N, as can be seen in Figure 1, above. Also, the en dash is wider than the figure dash, the hyphen, and the minus sign.
We will look at three ways to add an em dash in PowerPoint on the Web.
- Use an Alt key combination
- Use the Symbol dialog box
- Copy and Paste
1. Use an Alt key combination
To add an em dash using an Alt key combination, follow these steps:
- Click in any text container object to place your insertion point, as shown in Figure 2, below.
Figure 2: Place your insertion point
- Now hold the Alt key while you type 0151 to insert an em dash (see Figure 3, below). This option works best as long as you have a separate number pad on your keyboard.
Figure 3: Add an em dash
If you are using a Mac, this process of using the Alt key will not work for non-Windows users. You can use the other two options explained on this page.
2. Use the Symbol dialog box
To access the em dash character from the Symbol dialog box, follow these steps:
- Click in any text container object to place your insertion point, as shown in Figure 2, previously on this page.
- Now access the Insert tab of the Ribbon, and click the Symbol button. Doing so will bring up a drop-down menu, as shown in Figure 4, below. Click the More Symbols option, highlighted in red.
Figure 4: Click the Symbol button
- This action brings up the Symbol dialog box, that you can see in Figure 5, below.
Figure 5: The Symbol dialog box
- Now find the em dash character, as can be seen highlighted in red within Figure 5, above. You then press the Insert key, also highlighted in red to place your em dash in PowerPoint.
- Double-click any character to quickly add it to your insertion point in PowerPoint. You can double-click characters in quick succession, one after the other, to add multiple characters to your insertion point on the slide.
Quickly Add Symbols
3. Copy and Paste
The third option is to copy and paste, and this option probably is the easiest way since you are already working within a web browser. It's easy to copy something from another tab in the browser and paste into your slide, also within a browser.
Now, follow these steps to copy symbols into PowerPoint for the Web:
- Click within any text container object to place your insertion point, as shown in Figure 2, previously on this page.
- Now, navigate to any web page that contains an em dash, or you can search on Google or another search engine for the term, em dash. Once you see an em dash on a web page, carefully select it, making sure you only select the em dash and nothing else. Alternatively, here is an em dash for you to select and copy.
- Now, paste this copied em dash in your slide at the insertion point within PowerPoint for the Web. Make sure that the font used for the pasted em dash is the same that you are using in the rest of the slide.
Symbols: Add an Em Dash (Glossary Page)