A reader wrote to me today as he was looking for a special character to use handwritten on his birth certificate to separate his double first name. He described it as a “slanting upward and slightly shortened equal sign”.
I admit, I was at first confused and didn't quite know what was meant. The crux of this type of special character is often that you don't know the correct typographic name and therefore don't know what to look for. After a few emails, my reader Wolf-Dieter found out what the sign is called. It is the so-called “double hyphen”.
Chapter in this post:
No input option for the double hyphen under macOS
For most special characters, macOS usually has a keyboard shortcut that you can use to call them up. With the double hyphen, however, I found that I couldn't find a combination with the ALT, SHIFT or CTRL key that would have output a double hyphen.
The detour via text replacement of the Mac
But we're not so easily defeated, because if you often need the double hyphen, for example because it is part of your own name, you want to have a short way to enter it.
Fortunately, the Mac offers a kind of text abbreviation for such things, with which you can replace one character string with another while typing. Can practically do what the autocorrection always does if you have written something wrong from their point of view and it is then replaced without feedback from them.
The way to this little help works like this:
System Preferences> Keyboard> Text
The text abbreviations and the appropriate outputs can be defined there. In our case, I've decided that I want to type two equal signs in a row for a double hyphen in the text.
So I create a new entry and enter the two equal signs at the front. The double hyphen must now go to the back. Since I don't know how to type it, I just steal it from the Wikipedia page with copy and paste and put it in my abbreviation. You can poke him right here: ⸗.
I now write in any text under Word, Pages, Numbers or two equal signs in Apple Mail or anywhere else, the Mac replaces them with the double hyphen (⸗).
Mission complete, I would say! : D
Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He acts as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with technical problems. In his spare time he rides electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with the iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions to current bugs.