Hi! I’m Kathy Ide. In addition to being a published author, I’m a full-time professional freelance editor. For CAN, I’m blogging about tips for writers based on the most common mistakes I see in the manuscripts I edit.
The en dash is used for connecting inclusive numbers, including dates, time, or reference numbers.
Most word processors can convert hyphens to dashes. In MS Word, go to Tools, AutoCorrect, AutoFormat. Put a check in “Symbol characters (–) with symbols (—).” Then:
To make an en dash, type a word, insert a space, then type a hyphen, then type the next letter or word followed by a space. Once the hyphen converts to an en dash, delete the spaces before and after it.
MS Word has keyboard shortcuts for dashes. For an en dash, hold down the Ctrl key and hit the hyphen on your number pad.
If your computer can’t convert, a hyphen may be used in place of an en dash, with no spaces before, after, or in between.
Note: Article manuscripts (per the Associated Press Stylebook) do not use the en dash.
If you’re interested in working with a freelance editor (or know someone who is), e-mail me through the contact page of my website. Or go to the Christian Editor Connection to get referrals to other established, professional editorial freelancers. If you’re a freelance editor yourself, or think you might be interested in that field, check out The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network.
And when you’re ready to proofread your manuscript, consider getting a copy of my book Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors. It reveals how multi-published authors proofread their manuscripts to avoid typos, inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and errors in punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling. The book is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble’s website.
If you read or write fiction, check out my new Fiction Lover’s Devotional series! The first book, 21 Days of Grace, released June 1 and is available in bookstores and online. Details on the series are at www.FictionDevo.com.