How To Insert An Em Dash In Gmail (Windows and macOS)

On a standard keyboard, there is no dedicated key that you can use to type an em dash. Even though an em dash looks like a combination of two to three dashes, in certain apps like Gmail pressing the dash key twice or even three times will only result in two or three individual dashes instead of combining them and creating an em dash.

In this article, I will be showing you seven simple ways to insert an em dash into Gmail. 

1 – Use The Key Combination Alt + 0151 (Windows 10 And 11)

Step 1 – Check if your keyboard has a dedicated numerical keypad. If it does not have one, you will need to plug in an external full-size keyboard or stand-alone numerical keypad.

Step 2 – Click and place the cursor in the text area of the email where you would like to add the em dash.

Step 3 – While holding the alt key, use the numerical keypad, type the number 0151 then release the alt key. An em dash will then appear where you placed the cursor.

Use The Key Combination Alt 0151
Hold The Windows Key and Type 0151 Using The Numerical Keypad

2 – Use The Key Combination Option + Shift + Dash (MacOS)

Step 1 – Place the cursor within the text area of the email where you would like to insert the em dash.

Step 2 – While holding Option and shift on your apple built-in or external keyboard, press the dash (-) key. After doing this, an em dash will appear where you set the cursor. 

 option-shift-dash

3 – Insert An Em Dash Using The Windows Emoji Keyboard

Step 1 – Place the cursor within the text area of the email where you would like to place the em dash.   

Step 2 – Right-click within the email text area. Within the popout menu click on the word Emoji.

Insert An Em Dash Using The Windows Emoji Keyboard Step-2

Alternatively, you can use the shortcut keys Win key + the period key. Any of these will open the Windows Emoji keyboard. 

Use The Key Combination Windows Key and Period
Windows Key and Period (.)

Step 3 – Click on the symbols tab. 

Insert An Em Dash Using The Windows Emoji Keyboard Step-3

Step 4 – Under the General punctuation tab, the em dash is the third dash. Click on it to insert it within the area you specified in the email.

Insert An Em Dash Using The Windows Emoji Keyboard Step-4

4 – Insert An Em Dash Using The macOS Character Viewer 

Step 1 – Go to your mac desktop. 

Step 2 – On your keyboard press command, control, and space together or press the 🌐 key if your apple keyboard has that key.

Use The Key Combination Command Control Space

Any one of these will open the character viewer window. 

Insert an em dash using the macOS character viewer Step-2

Step 3 – Click on the icon to the top right to maximize the character viewer window. 

Insert an em dash using the macOS character viewer Step-3

Step 4 – In the search bar type in “em dash”.

Insert an em dash using the macOS character viewer Step-4

Step 5 – Select the em dash, then click on the add to favorites button. 

Insert an em dash using the macOS character viewer Step-5

Step 6 – Click the icon to the right again to return the character viewer to its original size, then close it.

Step 7 – Return to the email that you were writing in Gmail and place the cursor where you want to insert the em dash. 

Step 8 – Right-click on that location, and in the pop-out menu click on Emoji and Symbols. Alternatively, you can use the key combinations from step 2. 

Step 9 – Under the favorites label, click on the em dash icon to add it to your desired location. 

Insert an em dash using the macOS character viewer Step-9

5 – Copy An Em Dash From A Unicode Table And Paste It Into The Gmail Email 

Step 1 – Head on over to this Unicode table.

Step 2 – In the character search bar, enter “U+2014” or “&#8212” and then click on the search icon. 

Copy An Em Dash From A Unicode Table And Paste It Into The Gmail Email Step-2

Step 3 – Scroll down the page, then hover your mouse pointer over the search result Em Dash then click on the copy button.

Em Dash From A Unicode Table

Step 4 – Return to the email that you were writing in Gmail and paste the em dash in your preferred location.

6 – Copy An Em Dash From Google Docs And Paste It Into The Gmail Email

Step 1 – Open a new Google doc file. Press the dash (-) key three times in the text area, then press the spacebar key. This will merge them and create a single em dash.

Step 2 – Highlight the em dash using your mouse pointer and press control c (windows) or command c (macOS) to copy it. Alternatively, you can right-click on windows or two-finger click on macOS, and click copy in the pop-out menu.

Copy An Em Dash From Google Docs And Paste It Into The Gmail Email Step-2

Step 3 – Return to the email that you were drafting or replying to in Gmail and paste the em dash in your preferred location.

7 – Create An Em Dash Shortcut Using The Text Replacement Feature On macOS

Step 1 – Click the apple logo to the top left of your desktop and then click on system preference. 

create an em dash shortcut using the text replacement Feature On macOS step-1

Step 2 – Then click on the keyboard icon. 

create an em dash shortcut using the text replacement Feature On macOS step-2

Step 3 – Next, navigate to the text tab. 

create an em dash shortcut using the text replacement Feature On macOS step-3

Step 4 – Click on the + icon at the bottom left. 

create an em dash shortcut using the text replacement Feature On macOS step-4

Step 5 – In the replace field, enter your preferred shortcut phrase that you would like to use for the em dash. I used two keystrokes of the dash key (–).

create an em dash shortcut using the text replacement Feature On macOS step-5

Step 6 – In your web browser, navigate to this link and copy the em dash.

Em Dash From A Unicode Table

Step 7 – Place the copied em dash within the “with” field.

create an em dash shortcut using the text replacement Feature On macOS step-7

Step 8 – Return to Gmail and use your newly assigned key phrase to enter an em dash in your preferred location.