How Do You Change the Dash Settings in Microsoft Word?

Written by lily medina
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How Do You Change the Dash Settings in Microsoft Word?
Type two hyphens between two words, and AutoFormat will create a dash. (Dick Luria/Valueline/Getty Images)

Microsoft Word 2010 offers an AutoCorrect feature, which includes a subset of functions called AutoFormat. One AutoFormat feature turns hyphens into dashes automatically, saving you the trouble of inserting long dashes manually. If you type a word, then type two hyphens in a row, then type another word and then type a space or punctuation mark, this AutoFormat function transforms the two hyphens into a long dash. If you include a space on each side of the double hyphen, the function turns the hyphens into a shorter dash that's still longer than a hyphen.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Click the "File" tab on the Ribbon, opening the Backstage view.

  2. 2

    Click "Options" on the left side of the Backstage view, launching the Word Options dialogue box.

  3. 3

    Click the "Proofing" tab on the Word Options dialogue box.

  4. 4

    Click the "AutoCorrect Options" button near the top of the dialogue box.

  5. 5

    Click the "AutoFormat As You Type" tab.

  6. 6

    Click the box next to "Hyphens (--) with dash (-)," under the heading "Replace as you type." If the box displays a check mark, then clicking it will deselect the option; if the box is empty, then clicking it will add a check mark to select the option.

    If you type a double-hyphen, then Word will replace it with a long dash, if you select this option. Without this option, the two hyphens will remain two hyphens.

  7. 7

    Click "OK" at the bottom of the AutoCorrect menu, then click "OK" on the Word Options menu.

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