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Secret Life Of Dashes

20-02-2008

Do you know what is dash? Yes, this is such a little thing kind of lying stick "-" which are inserted between words, letters or numbers. But do you know what the difference between hyphen, em dash, en dash, figure dash, swung dash? Probably no.

In fact that difference very much important for HTML E-mail's, as computer keyboards lack separate keys to display all dashes, we go to semantic web and have tons of uncompatible email clients, OS', software. If you are to design HTML E-mail template will be ready to understand that.

For HTML E-mail template in general we use – for – and — for —.The en dash is half of the em dash.

The hyphen (‐) is used to join words and to separate syllables. But strictly speaking, the hyphen is not a dash.

The figure dash (‒) is so named because it is the same width as a digit and is used within numbers: 867‒53‒09. We use in coding ‒ or ‒.

The en dash, (–) (PC: Alt + 0150) is roughly the width of the letter n. It is almost half of em dash. We use en dash in closed ranges: 3–5.

The em dash (—) (PC: Alt + 0151) is the sign of punctuation which is significantly longer than the hyphen. We use the em dash to create a strong break between a sentences.

The swung dash (~) resembles a lengthened tilde, and is used to separate alternatives.

But what about hyphen-minus, tilde, underscore, macron, soft hyphen, hyphen bullet, minus sign, wave dash, Armenian hyphen, Japanese choon, other beautiful dashes? Don't forget about them, designing your next HTML E-mail template.

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