1 or 2 spaces after a period?

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AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560
1 or 2 spaces after a period?

I just saw a 70 posts long debate on Facebook about how many spaces there should be after a period. I was very surprised to see how many said 1. I was always taught 2. Interested to see what you all say. (Plus a non political debate should be fun Smile )

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

If you are using a monospaced font like courier, use two spaces after a period. Anything else, use 1.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3187

It used to be 2, but it has officially changed to one. I agree with Kim about that font, though -- it is font & sizing related.

But it did officially change. I was also taught two. Now I only use one when I sent articles in to websites & such.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

That is going to be one hard habit to break. It was thoroughly ingrained into me to always use 2 spaces between sentences.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

Most modern computer fonts (the notable exceptions seem to be everything our lawyers at work use, LOL!) automatically put extra space behind a period so there is not only no need to put two spaces, but putting two spaces makes it look like there's too much space. For most computer work, you only put one space. If you're on a real typewriter, or using one of the monospace fonts, then you put two spaces.

It's easy enough to fix if you realize your mistake. Just do a search & replace for ". " and replace them all with ". " and you're good to go.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3187

Also, you get used to it. I was definitely raised with the "two spaces" rule but I have adjusted and now it's effortless.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

If it makes you feel any better, Bonita, I still put two spaces after a period often, just out of habit. While i do agree that 1 space is correct, the truth is I really don't care all that much day to day, therefore have never made a very deliberate effort to change my habits Smile

ETA: And on the internet, browsers get rid of your extra spaces anyway. For example, i put about 17 spaces between the word get and rid in the previous sentence, but when it renders in your browser, you just see one space Smile

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

It changed to one space when I was getting my thesis for my bachelors.. that was a tricky thing to learn!