Creating keyboard shortcuts for special characters


Profuse apologies if this is obvious, or has already been dealt with on the forum, but I’ve had a hunt around and can’t seem to find an answer.

I’m a new (and enthusiastic!) Scrivener user, but one thing is bugging me. I’m a fanboy of the en dash symbol, and as far as I’ve been able to tell, every time I want to use it I need to open the special characters pane, select the symbol, click insert, etc. This really slows me down.

Is there some way I can set up a keyboard shortcut to insert the symbol as I’m typing?

Thanks for any advice!

This is kind of a Mac tip rather than a Scrivener tip, because the Mac has had a special way of inserting many common extended characters for ages. There are two “layers” of them which work just like using the Shift key to access capital and punctuation keys. The Option key accesses one layer, and Option-Shift the second. Option-Hyphen, in this case, does the en dash, and Shift-Option-Hyphen the em dash. Nearly every single key on the keyboard has an Opt and Shift-Opt variation. Opt-G for instance, creates a copyright symbol.

Get a reference sheet from here.

Ahah! Thanks very much! Turns out I should’ve identified myself as a new Mac user, as well as a new Scrivener user, haha.

Thanks again!

You’re welcome! :slight_smile:

Isn’t there a compile setting that will convert regular dashes to em-dashes? Might be more practical if you’re touch-typing.

I think the compile setting only goes the other way: em-dashes to double hyphens (for people who need to export their work to the 1980s…).
But you could set up a replacement in compile that would take double hyphens and convert to em (or en) dash. (Better than converting single hyphens, because you might have single hyphens you want to preserve, as in some compound nouns and adjectival phrases.)