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Should there be one space or two spaces between sentences?

One of the most frequent questions and problems I encounter is the number of spaces in between sentences (I see it wrong more often than I see it right). The answer? One space.

Why the confusion? From About.com:

It is generally accepted that the practice of putting two spaces at the end of a sentence is a carryover from the days of typewriters with monospaced typefaces. Two spaces, it was believed, made it easier to see where one sentence ended and the next began. Most typeset text, both before and after the typewriter, used a single space.

But if you’re editing a document by someone accustomed to the old style, you don’t need to manually delete each extra space if you use Microsoft Word (instructions are based on Microsoft Word X for Mac, but are similar for other versions):

  1. Type Command+F (Ctrl+F for PC versions of Word)
  2. Select Replace
  3. In “Find what” type two blank spaces
  4. In “Replace with” type one blank space
  5. Select Replace All
  6. Repeat step 5 until Word says it made 0 replacements

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One Response to Should there be one space or two spaces between sentences?

  1. Pablo June 14, 2006 at 1:48 pm #

    Amazing! This is great. I have been telling this to people for forever.

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