An ellipsis can be useful to have in a diagram:

[diagram picture]

I’ve been asked on several occasions how to make one of these puppies, so I
thought I’d publish the steps I saw one of my coworkers use:

  1. Launch Word, Excel, or PowerPoint.
  2. Get the Drawing toolbar to show up if it’s not already there.  You do
    this by going to the View menu | Toolbars | Drawing.
  3. Create a line.


  4. Change the dash style to dots.


  5. Increase the thickness.


  6. And viola!

As a side note, I was tempted to title this entry “dot dot dot” until I found the real

name in the dictionary.

From Merriam-Webster:

1 a : the omission of one or more words that are obviously
understood but that must be supplied to make a construction grammatically
complete b : a sudden leap from one topic to another

2 : marks or a mark (as … or · or –) indicating an omission (as
of words) or a pause

To think, my English vocabulary is actually improving by maintaining this blog.

Comments (6)

  1. RichB says:

    alt-0133 on the numeric keypad is the elipsis character.

  2. PeterD says:

    Traditionally, an elipsis has only 3 dots.

  3. JPDaigle [jpdaigle@softwareengineering.ca] says:

    >>To think, my English vocabulary is actually improving by maintaining this blog.

    English perhaps.

    Being from a French-speaking family, I simply *have* to comment on the use of "viola", which is a musical instrument. Americans always screw this up, the word is "voilà".

    (I say the above facetiously.)

  4. Wayne Kao says:

    RichB, I use the ellipsis in writing too. I could never remember any of those alt character codes though so I used the Character Map a lot. But now that I’m such a heavy Word user, I’ve come to rely on Word auto-correcting my "…" (period-period-period) into an ellipsis, which is interesting only because I hated that feature when it first came out. I guess things change given enough time.

    You’re probably right, PeterD, but in diagrams I excercise plenty of artistic freedom.

    I find it funny that I can’t spell "voilà" after taking French for 6 years. I don’t think I retained any knowledge from that class. I could have sworn it was "violá" though now that I’ve seen your spelling, that looks totally wrong.

    Thanks for the comments… a record number!

  5. jay says:

    if any one knows the reason why ellipsis has 3 dots and who started using it in math, thanks