I am having an issue with hyphens not appearing in an enumerated list using IEEEtran. Sometimes the hyphen will present correctly, and other times it will not appear at all. Here is a working example:

\subsection{Section} \label{section}
    \item \emph{Item} - Initial stuff.
    \item \emph{Item 2} – Here is some stuff.
        \item Stuff
        \item Stuff
    \item \emph{Item 3} - More stuff
    \item \emph{Item 4} – Also stuff

And the outcome:

Example Problem

I'm at a loss for why this is happening.

  • 2
    Note that - and are different symbols (the first is an hyphen, the second is an en dash). You need to tell the engine which encoding you are using (both input and font). Adding, say, \usepackage[T1]{fontenc} and \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} to your MWE makes the en dash appear. Also note that you can get the same result with -- instead. :) Nov 26, 2014 at 17:22
  • Changing the hyphen (-) to an en dash (--) appears to have corrected the issue, however I'm not sure how one became the other in the editor. If you post this as an answer, I can up vote it for you. Thanks!
    – Chance
    Nov 26, 2014 at 18:17
  • my pleasure! I asked David to answer it for me because he also explains why your code was failing (I was only able to spot a fix). :) Nov 26, 2014 at 20:25

1 Answer 1


assuming your file is UTF8 encoded the log file shows

Missing character: There is no  in font ptmr7t!
Missing character: There is no  in font ptmr7t!
Missing character: There is no  in font ptmr7t!

as you have not told latex you are using UTF-8, so it sees a dash as three separate characters from its three bytes. All of them have the 8th bit set and the classic OT1 encoding used by default has no characters with that bit set. (ie above 127).

If you add


then the dash works, the single - still makes a hyphen though and should be -- to make an n-dash.

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