Spaces after sentences


I “learned” to type about 25 years ago in high school.  The truth is that I went to typing class, but I didn’t pay attention much, and I was in a stage where…certain…”chemicals” altered my outlook on school, and in particular that little round ball bouncing up and down while I typed…but that’s a completely different story.


I apparently did get something out of the class.  When I started working with computers, I knew hand position and a few of the other basics of typing which I have been thankful to over the years.  I’m not a fantastic typer, but these days, I can type 70wpm or so while looking out the window or having a simple conversation.  I’ve certainly reached a skill level adequate for my job.


When I learned to type, two spaces were expected at the end of a sentence.  These days, with proportional spaced fonts and all, many are saying that one space is not only sufficient, but is superior (I don’t want to continue the debate here, use msn search if you want to see the arguments).


Now, I have a problem.  I actually agree with the one-space theorists.  For those of you keeping track, however, you’ll notice two spaces at the end of every sentence in this post (and every other post) of mine.  How can I teach myself to only use one space at the end of a sentence? 

Comments (11)

  1. tzagotta says:

    In the famous words of Nike advertising… Just do it!

    Or you could just do a search-and-replace on all your documents and replace two spaces with one. I have to do that with some of my colleague’s documentation from time-to-time.

    Monospaced fonts are obsolete and no longer serve any useful function, in my opinion. Even for code – I’m using Verdana in Visual Studio 2005 to improve readability and it is so nice.

  2. Alan Page says:

    A search and replace seems overkill, and I’m having a hard time adapting – my paragraphs usually end up with a combinationof single and double spaced sentences. Plus, my typing slows down (note the <u>one</u> space after the sentence above. That’s because I backspaced after typing the first few letters of the next sentence. Then I did it again…then again. And again. You get the point.

  3. tzagotta says:

    Are you a Monty Python fan? :o)

  4. JohnCJ says:

    Assuming you use Microsoft Word, you can set up an AutoCorrect entry that changes [space][space][period] to [space][period]. And never think about again. Except when you’re entering text into a textarea in a Web browser….

  5. John Walker says:

    I learned the same way you did. I always put 2 spaces when starting a new sentence. Then I saw Bill Hills video (http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=112) on Channel9. That convinced me.

    I definitely have made the switch. Don’t know exactly how I did it, except that I made a mental note to do so and followed through.

  6. Alan Page says:

    I’m using the auto correct option (duh – why didn’t I think about that. I guess I better start using word to write my posts too.

    tzagotta – Although not a fanatic, I do like MP. Not sure why you asked though. If I channeled a MP skit in any of my posts, it was a purely subconscious act.

  7. Alan Page says:

    crud – I can’t get autocorrect to accept those changes (it could be a word 2007 bug – I’ll try it out on another machine later).

  8. tzagotta says:

    >Although not a fanatic, I do like MP. Not sure why you asked though.<<

    When you said, "Then I did it again…then again. And again" it rememinded me of a scene in The Holy Grail.

    I’m not a fanatic either, but what you said did invoke a memory.

  9. Alan Page says:

    Word won’t accept [dot][space][space] to [dot][space] as an auto correct option.  I’d also have to make a similar rule for ! and ?, but those don’t work either.

    I could easily write a macro to do the search and replace for all sentence delimiters and fix up my work. Of course, then I’d want the macro to run automatically as I type, and that sounds hacky or impossible. It sounds like I’ll just have to teach myself to single space between sentences.

  10. A former colleague of mine sent some email last week thanking me for a book suggestion I had given…

  11. JohnCJ says:

    Oh, I forgot about something. You can’t use AutoCorrect to fix that problem. You have to change the setting in grammar checker. Go to Tools | Options | Spelling & Grammar. Click on the Settings button in the Grammar Section and then set the "Spaces required after sentences" value to 1.

    Sorry for the misinformation.

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