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Hyphen-minus
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The hyphen-minus ( -) is a character used in digital documents and computing to represent a (‐) or a minus sign (−).

(2018). 9780596101213, O'Reilly. .

It is present in as ; it is also in with the same value.


Description
The use of a single character for both hyphen and minus was a compromise made in the early days of fixed-width and . However, in proper and graphic design, there are distinct characters for , , and the . Usage of the hyphen-minus nonetheless persists in many contexts, as it is well-known, easy to enter on keyboards, and in the same location in all common character sets.


As the minus sign
Most programming languages, restricting themselves to 7-bit , use the hyphen-minus, rather than the Unicode character , for denoting subtraction and negative numbers.

The minus sign is nominally the same width as the plus sign. In proportional typefaces it is longer than a hyphen. During typesetting a may also occur following a hyphen-minus, unlike the minus sign proper which is treated as a mathematical symbol. These differences make "-" as a substitute for minus signs undesirable in professional typography.


Other uses
On typewriters, it was conventional to use a pair of hyphens to represent an , and this convention is still sometimes used in computer text.

The hyphen-minus is often used to represent an , which may be used to indicate ranges (such as a time range of "2000–2004"), direction (as in "The Los Angeles–London flight"), and other cases of connection. The en dash is normally longer (the width of a letter "n") than a hyphen, though in a fixed-pitch or typewriter font there is no difference. The hyphen connects closely, the en dash less closely, while the em dash (the width of a letter "m") separates.


See also

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