Double Space

Confession: I am a double space-er.  [About Cat Hartliebe] [Writer’s Stuff]

I always hit spacebar twice after every period.  It helps me feel as if the sentence is complete and concluded.  Doesn’t matter what I’m writing, I will always hit double spacebar after I end a sentence.

typewriter

Is it a bad habit?  I wouldn’t say so.  In certain situations, double space after a sentence does help.  Like when I’m editing through a general document.  The extra space offers the bonus awareness that the sentence ends here.  I can spot when I missed the beginning of sentence capitalization easier.  I can look at each sentence individually easier.  It’s a style I like and prefer.

But that doesn’t mean you always see my work double spaced.  Such as any time a work is justified (typically programs make it left; justified means both the left and right sides of a line are in use putting in extra space between words evenly).  If you use double space and justified the space get weird on you and the sentence look too spaced out.  Or they often do.  One long word and all of a sudden the entire line looks horrible.  Never use double space after a period and justified on the same document.

Another place I find myself going back to delete is limited character areas like Twitter.  (Yes, I am the type to write full sentences in a tweet.)  Removing the extra space gives me a few extra characters to complete my thought.  It does matter.  Often times to still give myself the long pause between sentences I hit enter instead of double space.  It actually creates a longer pause than just a double space.  It brings greater pause for one character instead of two.  (It’s the poet in me.)

I write in double spaces everywhere.  So do I go back and hit every sentence one by one to delete them?  No.  That’s crazy.  Now when I’m reading through final edits, I do try to scan for any missing.  However, this is really the time for ctrl-f.  The find feature in nearly every program ever can find all your doubles and turn them into singles.

How?

open office find
Open Office’s Ctrl-F feature

When you get the search feature up, you put in two spaces.  Just like you would after a period.  (Or I would after a period.)  You find all of them and replace them with a single space.  In Word, the ctrl-f feature pops up a screen that has replace on the next tab.  Others have replace right on the find feature.  Mind, this can only be done in a program that can be edited.

I won’t stop my double spaces.  I understand there are lots of times where it’s not desired.  But for me it makes reading easier.  It will be there in any of my first drafts.  Hopefully, none will exist in my final copy.


Update! Several months later, I don’t double space anymore. It really causes more work in the long run. So I just stopped.

[About Cat Hartliebe] [Writer’s Stuff]

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