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).

  • @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. Commented Jul 9, 2012 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
    Commented Jul 9, 2012 at 13:23
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    Did really nobody mention U+2E1A ⸚ ‘Hyphen with Diaeresis’ yet?
    – Crissov
    Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 23:31
  • 1
    I have added it to the accepted answer. It doesn’t show in iOS 9, for instance.
    – Crissov
    Commented Sep 28, 2015 at 8:16
  • 2
    @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
    Commented Sep 28, 2015 at 8:28

6 Answers 6


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.

  • 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! Commented Jul 14, 2012 at 10:24
  • 2
    Neither of these render correctly for me.
    – user9745
    Commented Jan 20, 2015 at 16:56
  • 3
    The first three solutions do not render well (on my system),because the diaresis is not centered correctly over the strokes.
    – Dirk
    Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 18:27
  • All of them render properly for me :D Commented Nov 1, 2016 at 12:19
  • U+2E1A worked for me on anki for macOS and android
    – vault
    Commented Jan 27, 2023 at 15:01

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

  • And thanks for making this site a better place. Not very many people answer a question that has already been answered! Commented Jan 22, 2013 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
    Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 12:00
  • LaTeX is the thing to use for any type of proper typesetting. Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 10:10
  • The braces are not needed (\"-).
    – Dirk
    Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 18:27

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

  • 1
    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. Commented Jul 14, 2012 at 10:18
  • 1
    A dash with an Umlaut is always a hack as its not really a valid character ;)
    – Takkat
    Commented Jul 14, 2012 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. Commented Jul 16, 2012 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).


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.
  • 3
    Welcome to the German SE! Enjoy your stay, and the Necromancer badge you might be getting for this ultra late answer :) Commented Sep 24, 2015 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. Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 14:44

On Ubuntu distribution of Linux the following key press sequences can generate hyphen with diaeresis or umlaut character:

CTRL+Shift+u 2e1a  Enter

First, press CTRL+Shift+U with together an release them. Then, type 2,e,1 and a in sequence. Finally, press enter to entering the whole sequence as a character. Result is as follows:

Or you can copy and paste it from Character Map buy finding as follows:

  1. Open Character Map
  2. Ctrl+F to open find dialog.
  3. Enter hyphen with diaeresis in Search: field and press Next button.
  4. Press Close button.
  5. Ctrl+C to copy the found character to the clipboard.
  6. Ctrl+V to paste it anywhere else.

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