How many times should we tap the space bar after a sentence-ending period? The Chicago Manual of Style says only once, though some writers may have learned to use two spaces.
The two-space rule was a product of mechanical typewriters, which gave each letter the same amount of space. Letters, words, and sentences flowed uniformly on a page, so two spaces were introduced after periods to break things up for the reader. Now, typing is done in digital word processors that give appropriate spacing to letters (“m” is wider than “i”), so spacing is more natural. One space is all readers need, and the two-space rule has been largely retired.
If you want to make sure no double spaces accidently sneaked into your document, you can
1. Press Ctrl + H.
2. Hit the space bar twice in the “Find what” field.
3. Hit the space bar once in the “Replace with” field.
4. Click “Replace All.”
5. Marvel as Word brings your document out of the typewriter era!
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Since 1997, Shea Writing and Training Solutions (Shea) has been helping companies, engineers, and project and asset managers communicate effectively about critical topics: the health and safety of employees, effective and efficient employee performance, and the protection of assets. Our overall mission is to help our clients reduce risk, improve performance and protect lives.