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I am trying to get an en-dash by using two '-' characters, but instead of appearing as one long en-dash symbol, I'm getting --. Any idea how I can get an unbroken en-dash?

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Please post a minimal example and which engine and format you are using (LaTeX, pdfLaTeX, XeLaTeX, ...) It could be a problem with ligatures, font, or just with your viewer. Zoom in, try a different viewer or print it. – Stefan Kottwitz Aug 7 '11 at 22:02
You should get an unbroken endash by default. Are you using xelatex or special font package, etc.? – frabjous Aug 7 '11 at 22:02
Try \textendash although I get an endash using two '-' characters. And, while we're on the topic, an even longer dash is produced by the \textemdash command – DJP Aug 8 '11 at 1:20
Apparently '--' doesn't produce an en-dash in math-mode; it works fine in text mode. – Isaac Kleinman Aug 8 '11 at 1:40
up vote 23 down vote accepted

Are you perhaps trying to do this within math mode? If, so that needs special attention:


Outside of math mode  13--17 works.

In math mode this does not work as the dashes represent a minus operation:
\[a = d\ 17--21\]

In math mode you need to:
\[a = d \hbox{ 17--21}\]
or if you have the amsmath pacakge:
\[a = d \text{ 16--19}\]
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Yes, I realized my mistake, I was trying to get the en-dash from within math mode; it works fine in text mode. – Isaac Kleinman Aug 8 '11 at 1:37

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