How to create an em-dash?

Can anyone help here? I’m trying to create an em-dash, which is normally done by using two hyphens “–” and automatically shifts to an em-dash with some programs. I’ve tried doing this (with words on either side like you’re supposed to, and with spaces on either side) and nothing happens. I’ve looked at Papyrus Author’s “special characters” and it’s not there either. It’s a little frustrating. I was really looking forward to using this, but if I can’t access something as simple as an em-dash (or accents, because I don’t see those either), this is going to be a no go for me.

Windows 10

Papyrus Author Free

Hi there,

you can fetch the em-dash via the menu ‘Text’ -> ‘Character Set’, which opens a Character Set dialog. There you can click on the em-dash and it will be inserted at the current cursor position.

The easiest way to use it will probably be to copy the em-dash and create a text macro. That’s how I do it :slight_smile:


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I just tried that in my copy of PA and it already works, as far as I can see. I type “–” (- twice) and it is replaced with an elongated dash.

I found that it is already a macro under OPTIONS->TEXT MACROS… in my default setup (untouched, out of the box, as downloaded, etc.)

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I figured it out! For some reason, it doesn’t like having words on either side. It wants to be alone with spaces on either side, though it does pull it tight into the previous word once it replaces the double hyphen. Strange, but workable. Thank you both for you help!

Thank you @joey and @SPWCaple for your advice! :+1:

Yes, there’s quite a few macros already established in Papyrus Author. You can always delete or customize them to your liking in by going ‘Options’ → ‘Text Macros’ as you said:

Text macros

The default macro for em-dash is " – ", so a space on both sides of the two hyphens. That’s why it certainly can feel strange. Great that it got sorted out!

You can find all available special characters for your current character set by going ‘Text’ → ‘Character Set’

text Character Set

Character set

You can insert one of the characters to your text by clicking them on the Character Set. You can of course create macros for the ones you use often, or use their Alt codes (for example, Alt code for em-dash is alt + 0151 on Windows)

Tip: If you use special characters very often, you can leave Character Set open on the side of your main window while you continue to work on your text. It doesn’t need to be closed.

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The reason for the spaces before and after lies in the origins of Papyrus. In German typography, it is common to use en-dash with spaces between words while in American typography the longer em-dash is more common and typeset without spaces. So make sure to replace the en-dash (–) in the macro with an actual em-dash (—).


I created a slight variation on the ‘em-dash’ macro. I went into the OPTIONS->TEXT MACROS dialog, found the original and modified it to be '-- ’ (dash, dash, space) and replaced that with the ‘em-dash’ character. That way just typing two dashes doesn’t trigger it, and it’s replaced with an ‘em-dash’ with no space characters around it as is typically preferred in the US.