How to insert en dashes for dates and page numbers?


How do I insert en dashes and em dashes into the title and date fields of zotero.

Or should I simply enter hyphens and let Zotero handle the conversion of hypens to dashes where appropriate? Can Zotero handle this?

Many thanks!
  • You can stick any of those dashes in any of Zotero's fields. You can copy paste them in or you can tweak your keyboard settings to create them out of key combinations.
  • You can insert an en dash by holding down alt and pressing 0150. You can insert an em dash by holding down alt and pressing 0151.

    Others you might find useful are 0145 (left single quotation mark), 0146 (right single quotation mark), 0147 (left double quotation mark), and 0148 (right double quotation mark).

    After a bit of a learning curve, you'll be typing these without even thinking about it. These keystrokes should work in most programs.

    However, I wish that Zotero had a way to convert these like MS Word does, or at least had a find and replace feature.
  • Thanks to both of you for your useful comments!

    Since different citation styles deal differently with en and em dashes, I think that Zotero should at some point be handling the correct use of dashes.

    Ideally we would input hyphens and zotero would choose wether to use hyphens, en, or em dahses for citation style.

    Right now, users need to know which citation style they are going to use when entering data, which somehow seems to defeat the purpose of working with a bibliographic citation system that can switch between citation styles.

  • Agreed. It would be a nice feature addition.
  • I have posted this in the feature request section
  • edited March 27, 2009
    Thanks biblio. So does your request for Zotero include creating an option for converting simple dashes into en dashes between page numbers/years within the Zotero interface? In other words, it would be complicated to do this within MSWord, for instance, because there are simple dashes (e.g. hypenated words) that should not be a replace/all action in MSWord is not suitable.
  • Yes, that's exactly what I had in mind. Let Zotero decide when dashes or en dashes are needed. I assume that different citation styles will have different ways of handling this.
  • jkhardin, FWIW, this is fairly simple to do in Word. I blogged about how to replace hyphens with en dashes. I think you'll find it helpful.
  • Thanks for the tip, philgons! Works in OpenOffice as well, just check the option 'Regular Expression' (Search & Replace > More Options).

    Since this also replaces hyphens in DOIs (thereby invalidating the links), I would not recommend running a 'replace all' command on your entire document.

    Also, since the plugin overwrites your changes upon refreshing citations and bibliography, I'd do the search & replace as the very last thing before printing.

    Still a workaround though, and a bit error prone--right in the phase where shit usually hits the fan anyway. I'd love to see this handled automagically by the CSL.

    I'd be grateful for any hints on how to customize the CSL file to do this.
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