Since the advent of computers and word processing software, one space goes after a period, not two.
Why? The simplest explanation is that in typesetting, software makes room for a wide letter such as W. (The Courier font is an exception. This is a monospace font (or non-proportional), which is a typewriter-like, fixed-width font, and each letter occupies the same amount of space. Other computer fonts are variable-width (or proportional), and the software adjusts the spacing automatically.
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.” This is especially important in publishing and press releases you send to the media.
Here’s a quick video to show you how your Office software will find all instances of two spaces after a period and replace them with one space. Fixed before you can blink.
Note. When I was in publishing and had to fix documents from other people, I recorded a macro and created a toolbar button (and a keyboard shortcut) that fixed everything with one click. I’ll record a future video to show you how to do this.
Break the Habit
To break the habit of adding two spaces after the period, every time you do two spaces, stop right then. Delete the last few words, and try again, focusing on doing one space. It’ll soon become the norm for you.
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About the Author: Peggy Duncan is an award-winning, international personal productivity expert, conference speaker, consultant, and coach. She uses her skills as a professional organizer, project manager, and computer trainer to help busy professionals spend less time working but get more done.
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