How to use em dashes in Scrivener


I need help converting dashes to em dashes in Scrivener. I know Word adds an em dash with the shortcut ctrl alt and the minus key. What’s the shortcut in Scrivener?

At the moment I’ve compiled my file as a customised (to keep italics) manuscript format and saved this as a Word document. Then I have had to go through and change the dashes in Word. Ideally, I want to be able to reflect this in my files in Scrivener, so I don’t have to keep changing them each time I have a new version.

Hope someone can help.


Go to menu Tools=>Options=> Corrections. Look about halfway down the window panel, for “Corrections” You can select various check boxes. One of them will replace two hyphens “–” with an emdash.

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How do you replace existing dashes with em dashes?

With project replace. Put two dashes in the first box and em-dash in the second. If necessary, copy two dashes from the text and paste it in the first box.

i figured that out just now! thanks!

In the compile window, there’s also a place on the right side of that window to input your own set of replacements. Scrivener will run these replacements on the text as it’s being fed into the rest of the process to create output files. This doesn’t alter the text in your project, only on the output, but if you put it there, you never have to remember to run a project search & replace


This can also be done from the compile format itself, for replacements you may or may not want depending on the situation.

thank you, Rdale! I’ll try that as well.

And now, I notice that when i compile to epub3, the emdashes in my text are converted back to double dashes. Those dashes often split at the end of a line, and that looks bad. I have the convert to emdash selected in my compile settings, but it doesn’t seem to matter.