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In most word processing applications, entering 2 sequential dashes is enough to create an em dash. Not in Google Docs.

enter image description here

It'd be nice if those two hyphens joined together — wouldn't it?

(The em dash directly above was written using HTML: —)

So how to create an em dash in Google Docs?

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This question is actually (kind of) wrong – typing two hyphens typically gives an en dash, and em dashes are often created with three hyphens. Additionally, while spaces should be used around en dashes (e.g. my previous sentence), em dashes are used without spaces—like this. – Arthur2e5 May 18 at 17:30
up vote 13 down vote accepted

Actually, in Google Docs you can have it automatically replace the two dashes with the em dash while you type!

Menu: Tools, preferences...

In 'Replace' type: --
In 'With':   Enter the em dash character as 'OnenOnlyWalter' suggests for keyboard shortcuts.

Preferences Dialog

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Answer by @SamtheBrand is correct, but there are also keyboard shortcuts to insert an em dash.

Windows: Hold Alt and enter 0151

Mac: Option + Shift + -

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Alt+0150 and Option+- are for EN-dash (shorter one). For EM-dash (longer one): Alt+0151 in Windows and Option+Shift+- on a Mac. – ash108 May 10 '14 at 13:34
Ah, my mistake, you're right. Updated my answer for accuracy. Thanks! – OnenOnlyWalter May 14 '14 at 21:14

Insert > Special Characters...

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Make sure you're in "Punctuation" in the left menu, and "Dash/Connector" in the right menu.

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The em dash is the third from farthest right option. Click it and hit insert.

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On Mac, just hold fn + option + -

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