1. Prophetsnake
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    Prophetsnake Contributing Member

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    Single space or double after full stop?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Prophetsnake, Nov 9, 2011.

    hi all,

    I'm in the process of editing a novel and am well into at this stage. My daughter who is doing punctuation, insisted it should be a double space between sentences. I had done it all single space.
    I've just read the specs for a submission from a publisher and they specify files should have single spacing. Which is generally considered more correct on a word processor? More to the point, how can I fix this with Word or openoffice if I need to? I've fiddled with most of the controls and nadda so far..
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I use single space. Double space is an old rule from the days of typesetting, apparently.

    To change it on Word I suppose you could try a global find and replace: find ". " (period and one space) and replace with ". " (period and two spaces).
     
  3. Prophetsnake
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    Prophetsnake Contributing Member

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    OK, tried it with Openoffice and it didn't work, but when I can try it on Word, I will and report back. I did try with two spaces to one space, and that only removed two spaces from all idents!
    Might just have to do it manually! Yow!
     
  4. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    I use single space as well.
     
  5. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I just did it in LibreOffice, a fork of OpenOffice, and it worked. Don't add the quotes that I used in my initial post, I just put those there to identify what I was talking about. Just go to find an replace, and in the find box type a period and hit one space after it, and in replace type a period and hit two spaces, then do 'replace all.'

    If it doesn't work in OpenOffice you could download LibreOffice, which is better :)
     
  6. Prophetsnake
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    Prophetsnake Contributing Member

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    OK, tried just that in Open Office and it didn't work. I tried various combinations. This is a 90,000 word doc as well! Yipes!
    Anyhow, my daughter has Word and she is the editor so I can try it on her computer tomorrow if mine won't work.
    I'll check out Libre office as well.
    Thank you for that!
     
  7. katek
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    katek Member

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    My edition of Word (and I agree with it!) uses double spacing. Are you sure your spec didn't mean single spacing between the lines (you can change this on Word to 0.5, 1, 1.5 etc.)?
     
  8. Arathald
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    Arathald Contributing Member

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    Modern word processors, and basically anything with proportional typesetting will automatically use wider spaces after sentences, so, on a computer, single space. It's traditional on typewriters to use a double space, though, due to my extensive computer experience, I still use a single space.

    Honestly, these days, it doesn't matter in the least bit. Even if you use a typewriter, it's eventually going to be digitized, so modern computers will take care of it.

    Also, I think that an editor or a publisher, if they noticed, would think "oh, that's funny, there's a little/more less space after sentences than the last manuscript I read", and then think nothing more of it. I think as long as you're consistent, you'll be fine, so do whichever feels more natural to you.

    Oh, yes, and "single spacing" or "double spacing" generally refers to spacing between lines, not number of spaces after a full stop. I don't think I've ever seen that specified in publisher guidelines, but if it was, it would probably say something like number of spaces "after a full stop" or "after a period" or "between sentences".
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there are many threads on this subject... you can find them with a search...

    as an editor and writer, i use the double, since it makes for easier reading and editing... nowadays, both seem to be acceptable, although i would guess most agents/editors would also prefer the double...

    the key is to be consistent...
     
  10. Raki
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    Raki Contributing Member

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    I think it also depends what type of font you use. A monospaced or non-proportional font (basically, typewriter font) makes it much easier on the eyes with double spaces between sentences because each character typed takes up the same amount of horizontal space. A font like Times New Roman, however, the horizontal width of each character varies, and so a single space after a sentence usually suffices.
     
  11. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    If you are going to replace all, be sure to replace after ." as well, as that is still a full stop. Be sure to do it for ever punctuation ending that requires a full stop. Also you will need to go and check for non-sentence enders "Mr." for example.
     
  12. Prophetsnake
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    Prophetsnake Contributing Member

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    Thank you, all

    Aralthad, I have come across one publisher who did specify that they want a single space after a full stop, amongst other things. they have a huge list of do's and don'ts, these guys.


    I'm goign to try libre offeice and see if it is more flexible than Open office.
     

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