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In the German-English dictionary that I have, it shows plural of nouns in suffix form. When it includes an umlaut also, it mentions it by having an umlaut over dash.

For an example from dictionary,

der Bogen (-̈) = curve or bend.

Here, -̈ shows that plural of Bogen would be Bögen.

But in my experience, umlaut doesn't cover the dash properly like in dictionaries. What should be the two proper combination of unicode characters for this? I have tried the hyphen as well as em- and en-dash with combining diaeresis (0x0308).

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@Takkat I am confused about the purpose of grapheme joiner here. The explanation all around seems confusing. I guess I should take it to a Unicode forum. But I was hoping German people would have used it. –  Anurag Kalia Jul 9 '12 at 13:17
See answer, there always is a way - we don't use this as we have all our Umlauts ready to use on our keyboards ;) –  Takkat Jul 9 '12 at 13:23
Did really nobody mention U+2E1A ⸚ ‘Hyphen with Diaeresis’ yet? –  Crissov Sep 24 at 23:31
I have added it to the accepted answer. It doesn’t show in iOS 9, for instance. –  Crissov Sep 28 at 8:16
@Takkat I know, but it is the proper character if it is available. Fonts that support it may produce a better glyph than with the combining diaeresis U+0308, but often it will result in just the same. –  Crissov Sep 28 at 8:28

5 Answers 5

up vote 6 down vote accepted

This seems like a hyphen rather than a dash. There are some more hyphens beside the ASCII hyphen-minus in Unicode:

  • U+002D (hyphen-minus) + U+0308 = -̈
  • U+2010 (hyphen) + U+0308 = ‐̈
  • U+2011 (non-breaking hyphen) + U+0308 = ‑̈
  • U+2E1A (hyphen with diaeresis) = ⸚

On my system (and on any system with a proper implementation of OpenType), the first three should work as expected. The last, pre-composed character has the worst font support. For this application, the non-breaking hyphen seems to be the most appropriate base character.

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Thanks! This is what I was looking for. I never knew those hyphens existed. I used to know the en and em dashes through the alt keystrokes only. This is a different world! –  Anurag Kalia Jul 14 '12 at 10:24
Neither of these render correctly for me. –  nyuszika7h Jan 20 at 16:56

If you are typing LaTeX you can use \"{-} (you can just put any letter in between of the "{}")

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Thank you. Will keep it in mind when I use it in future. –  Anurag Kalia Jan 21 '13 at 4:16
And thanks for making this site a better place. Not very many people answer a question that has already been answered! –  Anurag Kalia Jan 22 '13 at 17:10
I just was looking for the way to type that on latex, and I found your question. It was not exactly the same question I have, but maybe this will help other people. So I give and answer. –  Freefri Jan 23 '13 at 12:00
LaTeX is the thing to use for any type of proper typesetting. –  Martin Peters Sep 24 at 10:10

We could use the Unicode sign for a Diaresis and combine it with attributes underline or strike for the desired effect:


Example for strike attribute

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Well I would recommend it but it looks more of a hack - though a very good one at that. It works but I was looking for a universal solution. –  Anurag Kalia Jul 14 '12 at 10:18
A dash with an Umlaut is always a hack as its not really a valid character ;) –  Takkat Jul 14 '12 at 11:24
Here I would politely disagree. I have seen dictionaries with sich a use. THis means this is a valid use. Maybe not in German, but correct nonetheless. –  Anurag Kalia Jul 16 '12 at 3:47

This questions seems to have been long answered but I thought I'd post one of my methods, for the reference of other people who may encounter the same problem.

In MS Word, press Ctrl+F9. A pair of bolded brackets should appear highlighted in grey: { }.

In the brackets, type in exactly the following: eq \O(-,¨).

Take note of the space between eq and the backslash. The operator is the capital letter O. For the hyphen, I prefer to use a dash or minus sign, for purely aesthetic reasons. Either of these will work. The umlaut/diaresis can be selected from the Symbols menu.

Once you are looking at {eq \O(-,¨)}, click anywhere within this string of letters and press Shift+F9. The dash-umlaut symbol should appear perfectly.

This handy operator can be used to superimpose any two characters, so you can use it to umlaut any letter or create symbols such as x-bar or p-cap (statisticians would probably find this quite useful).

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This answer expands upon the solution for Microsoft Word given above by FRCLS, by putting it into a macro and assigning a shortcut key, so that you can just press the shortcut key to get it to work. The instructions below are for Word 2013; other versions may vary. Begin by opening a new document in MS Word.

  1. First of all you need to have the Developer tab available in the top ribbon in MS Word. If you can't see it then go to File / Options, then in the new window which appears click on Customize Ribbon and in the right hand pane click the checkbox beside Developer. Then click ok to return to your document.

  2. Click the Developer tab on the ribbon, then click on Macros, near top left. In the Macros window which appears type the name you want to call your macro (eg dashUmlaut), ensure the "Macros in" field is set to "Normal.dotm (global template)" (so that the macro is available across all your documents) and click Create.

  3. In the new window which appears the cursor should be on a blank line between Sub dashUmlaut() and End Sub. Into this blank line paste the following code:

    Selection.Fields.Add Range:=Selection.Range, Type:=wdFieldEmpty, _
    Selection.Delete Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1
    Selection.TypeText Text:="eq \O(-," & Chr(168) & ")"
    Selection.MoveRight Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1

Click the Save icon top left, and close the Developer window to return to your document. If you now click on Macros within the Developer tab of the ribbon, click on your dashUmlaut macro (which may already be highlighted) and click on Run then the dash with umlaut above it should appear in your document.

  1. Assign a shortcut key to the macro. Go into File / Options, and in the new window click on Customize Ribbon, and then beside Keyboard Shortcuts (bottom left) click Customize. In the Customize Keyboard window which appears, scroll down the Categories pane and click on Macros. Click on your dashUmlaut macro in the Macros pane on the right. Click within the Press New Shortcut Key field and press the key combination you want to assign to this macro - eg something like Control and Dash keys pressed simultaneously. Ensure that the "Save changes in" field is set to Normal.dotm and then press Assign (this is important!). Click Close and then OK to return to your document. When you press your shortcut key combination (eg Ctrl + Dash) the dash with umlaut above should appear.
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Welcome to the German SE! Enjoy your stay, and the Necromancer badge you might be getting for this ultra late answer :) –  hiergiltdiestfu Sep 24 at 8:43
Thanks for the welcome! I've just started a German class and my teacher had this same question, so I thought I'd just update the answer in case it helped anyone else as well. –  Robbie Jackson Sep 24 at 14:44

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