Inserting En dash and Em dash on Windows

Inserting En (–) dashes and Em (—) dashes on Windows can be difficult. Some word processing apps will convert multiple dashes into them, but usually I need them in websites or other apps.

Keyboards with a numpad allow you to press Alt+0150 or Alt+0151, but what if you don’t have a numpad or don't want to remember the numbers?

The solution I use is AutoHotkey. It’s a free scripting tool that lets you do all kinds of things. Here, I want to replicate Mac’s keyboard shortcuts:

  • Alt+Minus for En dash
  • Alt+Shift+Minus for Em dash

The AutoHotkey script for it is pretty simple:

; Alt+Minus = En dash
Send {}

; Shift+Alt+Minus = Em dash
Send {}

Put that in your AutoHotkey script, reload AutoHotkey, and then you’ll be able to use those keyboard shortcuts practically anywhere.