How can I make a dash, not two hyphens together, on canvas?
Hello, Tye Robinson and Welcome to the Canvas Community! This depends on what browser and operating system you're using to access Canvas.
I use a Macbook Pro with an external keyboard, and I create an em-dash with the keyboard shortcut Alt-Shift-Hyphen, like so: — .
I can also right-click wherever I'm typing to insert a symbol from the Emoji & Symbols menu. It looks like this: ⏤ .
There are similar keyboard shortcuts for PC users; maybe someone will contribute their favorite.
Those look like em dashes instead of en dashes. Normally the -- becomes an en dash.
Here's a page that explains how to enter both types of dashes for Mac, Windows, or Linux uses.
James, I only use the Shift-Alt-Hyphen shortcut that produces an em dash (I'm told on good authority). The second one, the one that I chose from the Emoji & Symbols menu array, is wider than an em dash. I wasn't able to get the keyboard shortcut for an en dash listed in the linked article to work on my Mac.
Strange. I thought maybe because the article was from 2012 that the keystrokes were no longer valid. I just updated the OS on my Mac earlier today and tried it with the latest updatest. The option-dash and shift-option-dash worked as described. On my mac, the alt key is on the option key, so shift-alt-hyphen would be the same as shift option dash and it is the em dash —. The option-dash was definitely an en dash –.
The dashes are one of those things that encourage people to abuse grammar. The em dash is so long that it looks out of place and the no spaces on either side rule makes it look cramped.
I didn't know it was so easy to enter an en dash on a mac, though. This thread brings back memories of the fill in the blank thread earlier this year where the problem contained an en dash in a math problem.
None of those options are working for me. I am working on a punctuation module for a prep class in canvas, but cannot show what an en or em dash look like because canvas has no options for either, just hyphens. Usually, in MSword, if the last letter of a word and the first letter of the next word are joined by two hyphens, the program turns them into an en or em dash. Frustrated. It shouldn't matter what kind of a computer I am using, this is a canvas issue.
Tye, sorry to say I can't replicate what you've described. The keyboard shortcuts worked fine for me in Canvas.
The -- to – is a function of the application, usually a word processor's autocorrect feature, not the operating system. The operating system provides ways for people to enter special characters that aren't on the keyboard. That is what we're describing and it's what you need to use whether it be dashes, emojis, or other special characters like a square root symbol √ or eacute é.
Canvas doesn't have autocorrect and not everyone would want that to happen if it did. Most composition instructors don't want the computer to correct the work for the student. I was pasting code just yesterday from Excel into Canvas and accidentally went through my word processor first one time and it changed my --- into a — when I really wanted three dashes, against my wishes.
What some people do is go into their word processors and generate the –, —, or other special characters they regularly use, then copy/paste them into Canvas as needed. They save this document for future use.
James, I've installed the ClipClip clipboard management software on my PC and it's great for saving frequently used punctuation marks and symbols for re-use. The keyboard shortcut CTRL-SHIFT-V brings them up on the screen.
Not the most convenient way, but when all else fails, copy and paste. Dash - Wikipedia
I just always use ALT 0150 and ALT 0151 -- never had it not work in anything. I use a PC.
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