Fussy copywriters like me can be sent into a rage by the smallest grammatical slip-ups. Years ago, in a previous job, my team referred to me as ‘Mr Em Dash’ in recognition of my obsession with transforming the many inappropriate hyphens that blighted our copy into more attractive em dashes.
To punctuate copy correctly you first need to go beyond the visible limitations of your keyboard. Here’s a quick list of some useful keyboard shortcuts I regularly use. Learn these and you’ll soon be transforming your words into a work of art.
… (ellipsis): Alt GR + full stop
— (em dash): Ctrl + Alt + minus symbol (on number keypad), or Alt + 0151 (on number keypad)
– (en dash): Alt + 0150
áéíóú (acute accents): AltGr + vowel
© (copyright symbol): Alt + 0169 (on number keypad)
® (registered trademark symbol): Alt + 0174 (on number keypad)
™ (trademark symbol): Alt + 0153 (on number keypad)
† (dagger): Alt + 0134 (on number keypad)
Remember, not all keyboard shortcuts work in all applications. All the above should work in Microsoft Word and Outlook, although they don’t all work in Windows Live Writer. If ever you get stuck, open Character Map in Windows and look for the Alt+Number keystroke in the bottom right corner.