Keep Characters Together Using Nonbreaking Spaces and Nonbreaking Dashes (or Hyphens) in Your PowerPoint Slides

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated March 12, 2021

Applies to: Microsoft® PowerPoint® 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 and 365 (Windows)

You can insert nonbreaking spaces and nonbreaking dashes or hyphens in PowerPoint to keep characters together on one line. Some users refer to a nonbreaking dash as an inseparable dash. For example, you may want to keep a phone number with dashes  together and never have it break across two lines. You may also want to keep text together like a company name, a person's name or other character combinations (such as "2 million") using nonbreaking spaces.

Although the Insert Symbol dialog box in Microsoft Word offers options to easily insert nonbreaking spaces and nonbreaking dashes, the Insert Symbol dialog box in PowerPoint is different. You would need to select (normal text) and then General Punctuation in the Insert Symbol dialog box to find other types of dashes such as the en and em dash in PowerPoint. Alternatively, you can use Alt plus the numeric keypad to insert a nonbreaking space or any of the other types of dashes.

Nonbreaking spaces and nonbreaking dashes can be inserted in a placeholder, text box, shape or a table.

There are 3 types of dashes you can insert. They are the dash or hyphen, the en dash and the em dash. An en dash is the width of the letter "n" and an em dash is the width of the letter "m".

Recommended article: How to Add Slide Numbers in PowerPoint (The Complete Guide)

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If the following methods don't work as expected, you may need to press NumLock on the numeric keypad first. You must use the numeric keypad, not the numbers at the top of your keyboard.

Inserting a nonbreaking space

To insert a nonbreaking space:

  1. Click in a placeholder, text box, shape containing text or a table where you wish to insert a nonbreaking space.
  2. Press and hold Alt and then type 0160 on the numeric keypad.

Inserting a nonbreaking dash

To insert a nonbreaking dash:

  1. Click in a placeholder, text box, shape containing text or a table where you wish to insert a nonbreaking space.
  2. Press and hold Alt and then type 8208 on the numeric keypad.

Inserting an en dash

To insert a nonbreaking en dash:

  1. Click in a placeholder, text box, shape containing text or a table where you wish to insert a nonbreaking space.
  2. Press and hold Alt + 8211 or Alt + 0150 on the numeric keypad.

Inserting an em dash

To insert an em dash:

  1. Click in a placeholder, text box, shape containing text or a table where you wish to insert a nonbreaking space.
  2. Press and hold Alt + 8212 or Alt + 0151 on the numeric keypad.

If you are going to be inserting specific characters frequently, you may want to add them to AutoCorrect.

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More resources

How to Embed a YouTube Video in PowerPoint

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts to Play and Control Video During a Slide Show

A Beginner's Guide to Video Formats in PowerPoint

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Summary
How to Insert Nonbreaking Spaces and Nonbreaking Dashes in PowerPoint
Article Name
How to Insert Nonbreaking Spaces and Nonbreaking Dashes in PowerPoint
Description
You can insert nonbreaking spaces and nonbreaking dashes or hyphens in PowerPoint to keep characters together on one line. Some users refer to a nonbreaking dash as an inseparable dash. For example, you may want to keep a phone number with dashes  together and never have it break across two lines. You may also want to keep text together like a company name, a person’s name or other character combinations (such as “2 million”) using nonbreaking spaces.
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Avantix Learning Inc.

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