Add One Space After a Period, Not Two. Here’s How to Fix Your Document and Break the Habit

Since the advent of computers and word processing software, one space goes after period, not two.

Why? The simplest explanation is that in typesetting, software makes room for a wide font such as W.

One space has been the norm since mid 20th Century. “The Complete Manual on Typography (2003) states that “The typewriter tradition of separating sentences with two word spaces after a period has no place in typesetting” and the single space is “standard typographic practice.”

Find and Replace Command

In Microsoft software, use the Find&Replace command.

  1. Press Ctrl+H.
  2. In the Find what box,  type a period and hit the spacebar twice.
  3. In the Replace with box, type a period, and hit the spacebar once.
  4. Click Replace All.

The software will find all instances of where you added two spaces after a period and replace them with a period with one space after. Fixed before you can blink.

When I was in publishing and had to fix documents from other people, I recorded a macro and created a shortcut and a toolbar button that made it even quicker.

Break the Habit

To break the habit of adding two spaces after the period, every time you do two spaces, stop right then. Delete that last word (or more) and try again, focusing on doing one space. It’ll soon become the norm for you.

PEACE.

3 thoughts on “Add One Space After a Period, Not Two. Here’s How to Fix Your Document and Break the Habit

  1. Thank you for the tip! It worked great for all of the sentences except where there were web addresses and dollar figures, like “$45.03.” After your suggestion, it looked like “$45. 03” and “www.perkproducts.com” looked like “www. perkproducts. com” Oops! Do you know of a way to exclude dollar figures and website addresses?

    1. Betsy, How can finding period spacebar spacebar affect 45.03? Not computing with me. You didn’t hit the spacebar twice in the Find What box so it found only the period.

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