Archive for the ‘Soapbox’ Category

That’s right. I’m up on my soap box again. One of the few things that aggravates me when I’m doing editing is cleaning up double spaces after periods.

TypewriterI know that back in the day, when we used typewriters (remember them?), we were all taught to put two spaces after the end of a sentence. Do you know why? Think about the type bars (the arms that reach up and smack the paper). Each is the exact same size. Because of this, each letter was designed with equal spacing, using what is known as monospaced typefaces. This is why you had to add two spaces at the end of a sentence. Your eye needed that extra space to see that a thought was completed and to easily read the next.

With the advent of the computer and widespread use of proportional fonts, double sentence spacing became obsolete. There are millions of fonts and font styles, and monotype is no longer the standard. Combine that with the fact that software has gotten smarter. Your computer knows when you use a period, and automatically accounts for the space that goes after it.

So why is this an issue other than simply annoying me? This may sound silly, but how the text appears in a document is a major component of what your overall design looks like. When you have huge gaps after your sentences, it affects the look and feel of your piece. Monospaced fonts and improper spacing leads to rivers in your typography. These unattractive gaps make design work look unprofessional.

So please. I beg you. No more double spaces.


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