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# Single Space or Double?10

## Single Space or Double?

(OP)
I have read several style guides and internet articles that indicate double spaces after a sentence is no longer acceptable in our modern age.  I find it very hard to avoid the double space due to that's what I was taught in typing class.  Typing classes are pretty much a lost elective now as well.  I'm not so much concerned with casual correspondence, but for official reports, would double spaces drive one mad?  Do people even notice?

BTW, the above is all double-spaced.

"Art without engineering is dreaming; Engineering without art is calculating."

Have you read FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies to make the best use of these Forums?

### RE: Single Space or Double?

I do it to.  It's automatic.  It seems at least Bill Gates agrees with us, as it is an option in Word.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

I prefer the double space after a sentence as well.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

me too, and my 20-something daughter (lit. major) hates it ... possibly part of the reason i persist !?

### RE: Single Space or Double?

How do differentiate the end of a paragraph if you don't have an extra bit of space after it?  Is the new way to indent the first line?

David

### RE: Single Space or Double?

My wife, a trained shorthand typist, berated me endlessly until I adopted two spaces after a sentence.  I don't think many would notice these days with text justification on most word processing programs.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

I'm in the two spaces camp as well.

Good Luck
--------------
As a circle of light increases so does the circumference of darkness around it. - Albert Einstein

### RE: Single Space or Double?

2
(OP)
David, still "carriage return" after a paragraph, we are talking about a single or double spacing between sentences.

"Art without engineering is dreaming; Engineering without art is calculating."

Have you read FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies to make the best use of these Forums?

### RE: Single Space or Double?

The only people who would notice this are persnickity graphic artists and publishers, who if they care and it effects them will reformat it to fit their desires anyway.  I use two because that Is what I was taught when learning to type and have had noone complain that I use to many spaces after a full stop.  I say this falls into the non-issue for engineers catagory.

-Kirby

Kirby Wilkerson

Remember, first define the problem, then solve it.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Between sentances or between lines?  Is this a discussion about double spacing text and indenting the first line of paragraphs (old fashioned when I was in high school 40 years ago) vs. single spacing lines and double spacing after paragraphs ("modern" 40 years ago), or some other style that I've missed?

David

### RE: Single Space or Double?

The discussion is about double spaces after one sentence ends and another begins in the same paragraph.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

The discussion is about double spaces between sentences.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Sorry for the double post.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

It was hammered into me hard enough in typing class that I always double space (press the space bar twice) after periods/full stops at the end of sentences.

Also, if I'm asked to review someones work and it isn't double spaced at the end of sentences then I'll flag it, and if I'm in the mood even harangue them for not knowing what they're doing.

My son tried the single space argument with me too, I'm not buying it, I only learned to type in the 90's and not the 1890's, just 'cause folks are too lazy to tap the space bar a second time don't make it right.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

### RE: Single Space or Double?

As the great Emilie Latella said "Never Mind".  I just read the OP again and see that I skipped a few important words.  I really think it looks stupid not to put two spaces after a period at the end of a sentance.  The Word style checker agrees with all of us that feel that way.  Periods are used for things other than ending sentences, and if you see "J. M. Campbell offers courses to the petroleum industry.  These courses ..." it is clear that the sentence doesn't end after "J."  I learned in typing class (in 1968) that the mark for the end of a sentence was "a punctuation mark followed by two spaces".  I'll stick to that till I die.

David

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Unless comparative sentences are shown, I doubt that most people would notice.

Single space. Always. Any more is a waste of valuable space. Spaces are non-renewable. They have to be protected from superfluous usage.
Single space.  Always.  Any more is a waste of valuable space.  Spaces are non-renewable.  They have to be protected from superfluous usage.

http://www.slate.com/id/2281146/

### RE: Single Space or Double?

(OP)
I still find two spaces to be easier to read, especially in very large paragraphs.

"Art without engineering is dreaming; Engineering without art is calculating."

Have you read FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies to make the best use of these Forums?

### RE: Single Space or Double?

There's one message board site I follow (investment/political) which automatically removes all double spaces no matter where they are in a sentence as well as multiple carriage returns (if you hit return 3 or more times after a paragraph it will remove all but 2 of them).  I assume this is being done to keep the amount of data transmitted to a minimum (it's a very old site so I assume that perhaps this was left over from the days of dial-up modems).

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Design Solutions
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
http://www.siemens.com/plm
http://www.plmworld.org/museum/

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

KENAT ... you're not like most people.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

I   think   we   should   all   learn   to   triple   space   between   words   and   after   sentences.   Okay?

DaveAtkins

### RE: Single Space or Double?

That from someone who doesn't even put a space between his first and second names.

David

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Double space for me too - too engrained to change.

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering
Motto:  KISS

### RE: Single Space or Double?

I took typing in high school, and I still use a double space after a sentence.  I find that it makes each sentence more clear.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

2
MM,

I have no idea what changes have come about, oficcial or unofficial, but I've always used Strunk and White or Chicago Style for writing guides.  If you have an iPhone and hit the space key twice and it automatically puts in the period and starts the new sentance with a capital letter.  Right before I took a typing test, I was told specificaly that they expect to see two spaces after a sentance.

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Glad to be in the majority for a change.  Two spaces for me.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

And since this has turned into a sort of best practice 'survey', I too always insert two spaces after the end of a sentence (per what I was taught in high school typing class some 46 years ago).  BTW, I do the same after a colon(:), and in an address, between the name of the state and the zipcode.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Design Solutions
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
http://www.siemens.com/plm
http://www.plmworld.org/museum/

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

I just got some insight from my wife.  She says that the people teaching high school English learned the subject from text messaging--with 160 characters every space you save adds room for more texting gems.  She may be a touch cynical.

David

### RE: Single Space or Double?

iF we Usd tXt mesSgS aS a gUidE, eVerY tHiRD leTtr wOUld B a CAp aNd ProPeR speLliNg iS OuT ThE doOr.

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Or like the option we use in our software when filling in a 'Parts List' on a drawing.  The user can apply several 'Fit Methods' in case the text string is too long for the relevant field.  There are options like truncate, wrap, auto size the text, etc, but my favorite is 'abbreviate'.  The algorithm we use is baed on something call 'Hebrew' abbreviation; you simply remove all vowels which are not the first or last letter in a word, sort of like the wording on those 'vanity' plates you see on cars.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Design Solutions
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
http://www.siemens.com/plm
http://www.plmworld.org/museum/

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Ah, just the kind of software feature that's really annoying when you're trying to actually work in close compliance to industry standards.

Why not reference to a database iaw with ASME Y14.38 and substitute the approved abbreviation, except for the first word of the description?  Or at least, have this as an alternate option for those working to ASME drawing stds?  I don't care what ISO folks do.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

### RE: Single Space or Double?

(OP)
Hebrew Abbreviation... I thght tht ws only a Mltry thng.

"Art without engineering is dreaming; Engineering without art is calculating."

Have you read FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies to make the best use of these Forums?

### RE: Single Space or Double?

As Miss Smith (my high school typing teacher...and yes, there was a reason it was "Miss" Smith) told me before she threatened to rap my knuckles with a ruler....

1 space after a comma
1 space after a semi-colon
2 spaces after a colon
2 spaces after a period

Indent paragraphs 5 spaces

Funny how I remember that and I don't remember a word of what my hot english teacher said....or did she even talk?

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Years ago, after computers had been introduced into our company, I was at one of my high school reunions and one of the teachers who had stopped by was my old typing instructor.  I was able to tell him that of all of the classes that I had in high school, I could honestly tell him that the knowledge and skills which I learned in HIS class was stuff that I used EVERDAY.

However, my younger brother can claim an even better advantage.  When he finished high school, after taking nearly 3 years of typing (I only took one year), he was immediately subject to the draft (this was in 1966 and I had avoided this situation by joining ROTC in college and enlisting in the reserves) as he was not going on to college.  So he decided to see if he could get a better deal by enlisting instead of waiting to be drafted and ending up in the infantry or something.  When the ARMY recruiter found that my brother could type at better than 100 words a minute they offered him a slot in ARMY Intelligence.  Granted, he still did 2 tours in Nam, but at least it wasn't out in the jungle carrying an M-16

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Design Solutions
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
http://www.siemens.com/plm
http://www.plmworld.org/museum/

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

E-mails I receive often have the comment "Extra line spaces were removed. Click here top restore them."

### RE: Single Space or Double?

The double space is supposed to be obsolete in this day of proportional fonts.  But since what I am typing right this second is appearing before me in monospace, I say the double space is not dead yet.  (And I am of the typewriter generation so I can't help it anyway.)

That said, if I'm editing a proportionally spaced document for formal presentation, I pull out the double spaces.  If nothing else, it's easier to do an automatic search for the doubles and replace them with singles than to try to locate just the right singles and replace them with doubles.

Hg

Eng-Tips policies:  FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Taking a Master's writing class a few years ago, we had to format our papers by using the APA style guide, which can be set in Word.

"The APA Publication Manual now calls for one space to appear after all punctuation marks. This is undoubtedly in response to the capabilities of modern word-processing devices to determe the correct aesthetic distance between punctuation marks and subsequent letters. To double-space after a punctuation mark defeats that capability. If you are using a mono-space font (such as Courier), you may consider using two spaces after end-periods and colons."
"Exceptions are spaces after the period in initial (U.S.) and colons in ratios (6:1)."

"Wildfires are dangerous, hard to control, and economically catastrophic."

Ben Loosli

### RE: Single Space or Double?

So Ben, what you're saying is that those of us who continue to double-space after punctuation marks are borderline 'Luddites'

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Design Solutions
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
http://www.siemens.com/plm
http://www.plmworld.org/museum/

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

So who gets to set all these rules?
Don't they have something better to do than nag the rest of us?

### RE: Single Space or Double?

I remember the same rules Ron.  All of them, but not Miss Smith.  Was she "memorable" to a young man of your ... well ... age?

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering
Motto:  KISS

### RE: Single Space or Double?

A punishing memory, Mike!  Not so easy on the eyes...all business.

Now the english teacher....that's another story!

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Double space -- I'll never give in!

### RE: Single Space or Double?

JMW:

The people who set these rules are the English department equivalent of spec writers.  Pedants, every one.

:) -Kirby

Kirby Wilkerson

Remember, first define the problem, then solve it.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

... and the ones who insist on <insert preference here> spacing aren't?

### RE: Single Space or Double?

I see a lot of technical writing, and in real life I'd be happy with comprehensible prose, screw "style".  I got a request today to do something, but after 10 readings I still don't have a clue what the guy was asking for.  He put two spaces after the periods, and even that didn't help.

The only time I ever had to use a "style guide" was when I was writing my Masters Theses.  The school had a rule that after it was printed on the special high-dollar paper you had to submit it to a clerk in the graduate school for "format review".  Of course this pedantic individual disagreed with a couple of my interpretations of the style guide and marked the document up with a red pen.  I paid another $75 to get it printed on the high dollar paper again (with all the comments corrected), and the individual marked it up again with at least half the comments requiring me to change it back to the way it started. I took both copies to the head of the school and got a ruling. The clerk got fired so something good did come of spending$150 more than I should have had to spend.

People that find this stuff to be critically important rarely produce anything worth reading.

David

David

### RE: Single Space or Double?

"He put two spaces after the periods, and even that didn't help."

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Two spaces after a period, one space after a comma.

I think the one space comes down to the new group of words these days like: 2day, lol, u, 4ever etc...

### RE: Single Space or Double?

I recently read an article about this promoting the single space.  It was difficult to read, since it used single spaces and each paragraph looked like a run-on sentence.

Many word processors try to be clever at thing like this, changing an en-dash to an em-dash depending on the context, or three periods to an ellipses, yet I've not yet seen one that automatically adjusts spaces in a similar way.

Not that I'm promoting that, half the time I just find it confusing, and would rather maintain full control over the output.  (If I typed three characters, I expect to use three deletes to remove them...)

If I want an em-dash, I can define <alt>- to do that, thank you very much.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

I prefer single-spaced sentences, mostly because that's the way I would hand-write them. As you all know, double-spaced sentences came about due to the use of monospaced fonts during the typewriter age. Now that most of us don't use those fonts on a daily basis anymore, there really isn't any need to type the extra spaces. But if people are used to them and if the extra spaces don't break up the paragraphs too much (depends on the font and point size), then it's up to them if they want to continue to the tradition.

Then again, the multi-million dollar international design firm I work for unfortunately still uses a monospaced font for every document and report we produce, so who am I to talk.

Structural Design Engineer
New York, NY

### RE: Single Space or Double?

We have typically used double spaced line spacing for drafts, with single or 1.5 line spacing for finals.  The double spacing allows the reviewer space to hand-write comments that can then be picked up and incorporated into the final.

As "smart" as MS Word and other programs might be, they still screw up spacing.  As an example, you often have to add a tab space at the end of the last sentence in a paragraph in MS Word to get the proportional spacing to work out properly.  Otherwise you get a line with 3 words on it, spaced from left margin to right margin.

Interesting that MS Word has become the "standard" for word processing, when in fact, there have been others through the years that are significantly better.  WordPerfect, for example, is more powerful and allows the user much more latitude in formatting.  Very few business use WordPerfect, except lawyers.  Even some of the "old" ones like WordStar and the old Trash80 word processing program (written in 64k...amazing!)were actually powerful word processing programs.

Adding two spaces after a period does not screw up anything to do with proportional spacing.  A space is a space is a space.  Is it the same width each time?  No.  That's what proportional spacing does...it sets the width of each space and the space between characters to its criteria (not yours).

### RE: Single Space or Double?

OMG! I got to the end and I realized wtf am I reading this for.
(    no       offense                  intended             to              no            sinisters     )

Fe

### RE: Single Space or Double?

I've always used a single space after a full stop. I'm not sure if it is a British thing, or just me: I learned to type on an electric typewriter, so I can't claim to be a victim of modern technology. Use of double spaces doesn't really bother me, unless it's a justified sentence with few words, where the double space becomes ridiculously broad.

----------------------------------

If we learn from our mistakes I'm getting a great education!

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Oop North where I live the majority of us can barely write, let alone type. You must have lived darn sarf in the posh bit of the country. Typing classes? Pffft.

----------------------------------

If we learn from our mistakes I'm getting a great education!

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Hey, we had the first street lit by electricity anywhere in the world! Granted, things have gone downhill a bit since then but...

----------------------------------

If we learn from our mistakes I'm getting a great education!

### RE: Single Space or Double?

What I hate is MS Word assuming that you are stupid and taking over the format of what you are creating.

Having to fight both the client and MS Word just infuriates me.

Spell check is OK, but punctuation and formatting, that's my bag, not MS Word.

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering
Motto:  KISS

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Then turn off the punctuation and format checking.  Geesh.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Got in a big argument with a superior about this once, and did all the research so I could figure out what was right.

Two spaces after a period was a standard adopted because of courier font, because all the characters are the same width.  With variable width fonts, the typesetters say go one space.

HTML automatically fixes this for you, by the way.  If you're writing pure HTML code for a website and you put two spaces after a period, the browser will truncate that to one space, no matter how hard you try to put two in it.  SOME discussion forum software automatically fixes it as well.  I notice that Eng-Tips does not, which is actually rather unusual.

I still use two out of habit, and nobody's ever going to call you on it in an engineering document, but everyone's being taught one space nowadays.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

### RE: Single Space or Double?

So ScottyUK, does that make you a Georgie - although unlikely with the handle you have.

It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. (Sherlock Holmes - A Scandal in Bohemia.)

### RE: Single Space or Double?

I thought it was Geordie, like Andy Capp.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

yep Geordie - typo - too busy concentrating on double spacing.

It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. (Sherlock Holmes - A Scandal in Bohemia.)

### RE: Single Space or Double?

I learned to type on the old manual typewriters; Underwoods, Royals, etc.  Electrics hadn't been invented yet.

The part about keyboarding that I hate is the old habit of slinging your right hand up and toward the carriage return lever and then remembering that it is now "enter" .

Put me down for old habits and training - 2 spaces.

rmw

PS: come to think of it, I wonder if the nostalgia of the 'multiple key jam' caused Bill Gates to build computer freezes into his work.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Artisi - yes, I'm one of the chosen ones.

----------------------------------

If we learn from our mistakes I'm getting a great education!

### RE: Single Space or Double?

The APA 6th Edition recent change from double to single spacing has been my dissertation writing bane.  My thumb can't stop double clicking the space bar...

### RE: Single Space or Double?

ScottyUK, can I claim 50% from my father's side.

It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. (Sherlock Holmes - A Scandal in Bohemia.)

### RE: Single Space or Double?

...if the editor wants "one-space" I let him/her change it in the final copy; but I continue to do it *MY* way with two-spaces after a period.  Like this!

### RE: Single Space or Double?

I have to agree with the two spaces side.  It just reads better to me to clearly see where the sentence ends without having to look too closely.  "Was that a period or a comma?"

"Good to know you got shoes to wear when you find the floor." - Robert Hunter

### RE: Single Space or Double?

I'm a 2 space guy as well.  I have been on a forum that takes out by "spare" spaces.  Makes it hard to space over into the body to position a "smiley/graemlin".  I still remember how to get at some extra ASCII characters not on the keyboard though.  Like [ALT]0160 (on the number pad... won't work with the numbers at top of letters) for a NUL space.  That doesn't compute in the space stealer algorithm.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

If there was a keystroke combination that would insert an "em-space" instead of just a single letter space, I'd probably use it.  Until then, it's two spaces.  One sentence, one thought, and let's take a little mental breath between thoughts.

APA's current position of one space sounds like it's catering to laziness and/or efforts intended to squeeze another word or two per minute out of those who primarily do typing all day long.  The reader is left to fend for himself.

Norm

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Wow.  I had no idea that double space after a sentence wasn't standard practice.  Good luck trying to get me to comply.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

I have to against the grain here and declare one space is the only way. Any typographer would agree. Any book, magazine, newspaper, professional journal, etc. is single-spaced. The only exception is when you are using a pre-1960s typewriter that does not use proportional spacing or an old font such as Courier (Courier New does not count). There are a slew of people who were taught to spell "dilemma" incorrectly as "dilemna." That doesn't make it correct. People's resistance to change is not surprising. Those darn kids and their rock music are always up to no good.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Thats to save paper, not for readability

Fe

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Sorry, Run, but when the space between sentences is the same as that between words, it READS like a run-on sentence even though that wasn't the writer's intention (I hope).  As far as I know, proportional fonts aren't yet smart enough to know where to insert what width space.

Anything that reads like a "stream of consciousness" looks less organized and tends to get treated that way at least on a subconscious level.

If you look around various internet fora, you'll find people who don't put any spaces at all between the punctuation ending one sentence and the start of the word that begins the next.  Is this to become a correct/proper writing format at some future time, where the mere presence of punctuation is sufficient?

Norm

### RE: Single Space or Double?

You're correct, proportional fonts do not distinguish between a space between words or at the end of a sentence. However, the period followed by a blank space provides the visual separation.

Two spaces was required with monospaced fonts. In that event, the letter "w" had the same spacing as the letter "i." I will try to illustrate this visually, mimicking a monospaced font using a proportional font:

"T w o  s p a c e s  a r e  n o  l o n g e r  n e e d e d.   U n l e s s  y o u  u s e  a  m o n o s p a c e  f o n t."

In this case, yes, an extra space is needed to visuall separate the sentences. It's not the best example, but most computers do not have any monospaced fonts anymore.

The difference between these two is minor, but two spaces is a large gap which disrupts the flow:
Two spaces are no longer needed. Unless you have a monospace font.
Two spaces are no longer needed.  Unless you have a monospace font.

I wouldn't consider internet fora a reputable source for grammar and style standards. If that is your philosophy, I pray for all of us because IM-speak will become the standard.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

#### Quote:

two spaces is a large gap which disrupts the flow
For you perhaps, but it does not disrupt the flow when I am reading it.  It actually enhances the flow.

"Good to know you got shoes to wear when you find the floor." - Robert Hunter

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Such a big fuss over nothing ... or maybe two nothings.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

My philosophy is that each sentence contains a thought that should be separated from the thoughts in the sentences before and after it.  A single space doesn't provide enough of a break.  Two spaces is not a disruption, but a chance to digest the one thought and take a brief "mental breath" before proceeding to the next.

I used the internet fora example as a "what-if", should the same kind of thinking that would remove a double space between sentences be carried to its next logical position where no space at all would be required.  I certainly don't agree with it, or with many other informal internet conventions either.  But the people who avoid all sentence spacing would be just as entitled to say that one space between sentences is no more necessary than the second space is to those who would say that one is enough.

Norm

### RE: Single Space or Double?

There is another reason to use two spaces at the end of the sentence and that is to highlight when the period functions as a full stop (two spaces) and when the period functions in some other capacity (one space), such as terminating an abbreviation.

Good Luck
--------------
As a circle of light increases so does the circumference of darkness around it. - Albert Einstein

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Having no spaces is ludacris. There must still be spacing between words. However, if in the future typographers who study this sort of material conclude no spaces are required, who would I be to diagree.

You must have difficulty reading a newspaper (if people still do that), magazines, trade publications, engineering standards or text books? None of these allow for mental breaths between sentences. When reading, your eyes don't need to land on every word. It's the smae raeosn you can raed wdors wtih the lttres in the wonrg oderr. The brain is kind of amazing.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Just for grins, I pulled out a couple of the reference books that I keep handy.  They appear to doublespace the sentences.  Yes, I've had them for quite a while, but I did buy them new.

True, the human brain is capable of compensating for lots of things.  That does not mean that it should always have to.

By the way, I think you meant "ludicrous".  I think Ludacris is the stage name of a hip-hop personality.

Norm

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Norm,

If the ref' books used the Justify setting for the paragraphs, that might explain the extra spacing. Machinery's Handbook does that and the sentence spacing often looks like 3 spaces.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Thank you for catching my spelling mistake. How apropos for such a forum.

Let's agree to disagree then. Luckily Fr. Time will continue to purge society of outdated ideologies.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Is "Wild in the Streets" coming to pass?

"Good to know you got shoes to wear when you find the floor." - Robert Hunter

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Could be.  But if that's the case, shouldn't I then be seeing about as many places where the spacing was crowded down closer to one?

Regardless of the actual mechanism used that tended toward leaving wider sentence spacing rather than narrower, they're still easier to read for full comprehension than any of several monthly magazines or the Sunday newspaper that I also read.

I'd still like there to be an em-space character or keystroke combination.

Norm

### RE: Single Space or Double?

What's even worse with modern books is not so much the lack of double-spaces or even the use of proportional fonts (after all, even when books were typeset with actual 'type' there were proportional fonts) but rather that they 'align' the pages using what in MSWord would be called the 'Justify' method of formatting a paragraph, where (as described by MS help):

The 'Justify' method aligns text to both
the left and right margins, adding extra
space between words as necessary.

This creates a clean look along the left
and right side of the page.

Well it may provide a 'clean' look along the sides of the page, but it can make the rest of the page look like crap, particularly if you're reading something where there are many longer than normal words, often the case with technical and scientific works, which can result in some very silly looking lines of text as the extra long words invalidates some of the assumptions about why this scheme is desirable.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Design Solutions
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
http://www.siemens.com/plm
http://www.plmworld.com/museum/

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Apart from magazines and newspapers, you can see the single spacing in almost any published book. You've mentioned one book you have that uses two spaces. Can you cite said book? I would like to see if Google Books has it to read it for myself.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Silly arguement...
It DOESN'T REALLY MATTER what format is used in publishing today.  That does not change the fact that many find it easier to read when two spaces are used.  Get used to it.
Also, it is quite impolite to infer another poster is a liar, and he referred to "a couple" of books, not one.

"Good to know you got shoes to wear when you find the floor." - Robert Hunter

### RE: Single Space or Double?

OK, looking on my office bookshelf I found at least 5 books which many engineers (at least Mechanical) might find on their own bookshelves, where there's a double-space at the end of each sentence.  These include:

Shigley's 'Mechanical Engineering Design', © 1963

Shigley's  'Dynamic Analysis of Machines', © 1961

Shigley's 'Simulation of Mechanical Systems', © 1967

Roark's 'Formulas for Stress and Strain', © 1965

Mark's 'Standard Handbook for Machanical Engineers, 7th Edition', © 1967

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Design Solutions
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
http://www.siemens.com/plm
http://www.plmworld.com/museum/

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

I am not inferring anything. This is the internet. Trust but verify.

50 year old books? I'm going to leave that one alone.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Yes, this is the internet.  Trust but verify.  Fair enough; good practice actually.

Norm included the caveat that his were not new books either, so you are now going from "almost any published book" to "50 year old books? I'm going to leave that one alone."
Sorry, but the world didn't start for many of us when you were born.

"Good to know you got shoes to wear when you find the floor." - Robert Hunter

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Heck, this is such fun..... 93 posts on single or double space....
I can't wait till we move on to whether to use single line or 1.5 lines spacing and how many points before and after the paragraph.

I hate to put a damper on things but it is ignorance and not intellect that will win.
Laziness, not diligence.
And in the end it won't be any of the language gurus, it won;t be decided by some sort of international congress, it will all be decided by one anonymous man living in Seattle.
Or is it Boston?

Most people are too lazy to work out how to use their computers.
Write a letter? the Mr Paperclip will help them.

(Seen somewhere: Mr Paperclip pops up and says:
"It looks like you are writing a ransom demand. Would you like some help?")

And that's it.
If the Word for Windows default is Times New Roman, single space, and single line space, then that's what will become the default standard.
So the arbiter of all things is whoever Bill gates assigned the task of setting up the default templates.
Shame, it would be nice to think we had some input into these things.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Actually, Run, I pulled three.

Steel Construction Manual (6th Edition, AISC)
Design of Weldments (Blodgett, Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation)
The user manual for one of the structural analysis tools that I use.

And now that I'm home, I found a couple more without trying very hard at all.

Design of Welded Structures (Blodgett, Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation)
Race Car Vehicle Dynamics (Milliken & Milliken, SAE, 1995)

If double-spacing between sentences was in fact theoretically incorrect from a thoroughly reviewed style guide standpoint, it wouldn't have been used for monospaced work either.

Let me try to help some more . . .

Text can be written on this forum in monospace using the appropriate HTML code, .
Two spaces are no longer needed.  Unless you use a monospace font like this.

Two spaces are still useful.  Whether you have a monospace font or even a proportional font like this.

Norm

### RE: Single Space or Double?

This has nothing to do with ignorance or laziness.     I'm not surprised these are the comments being thrown.     Those darn lazy kids and their rock music, huh?     It's already been decided by language gurus, of which none of you are.     Neither am I.     Open any manual of style and read what it says.     It's stubborness of the baby-boomer generation to change from the way they've always done things.     I've put five spaces between sentences here, to leave you all with plenty of time to digest what you are reading.     I hope I'm not going too fast.

...and seriously, who uses the Paperclip?

### RE: Single Space or Double?

#### Quote:

It's stubborness of the baby-boomer generation to change from the way they've always done things.

If it's not broken, don't fix it.

Norm

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Well RunSomewhere, before you get carried away with your flagrant ageism and disrespect for your seniors (or maybe peers - I don't know) at least one of the folks voting for 2 spaces is no where near a boomer, not even generation X by some definitions.

If there are so many relevant 'manuals of style' which categorically state single space for formal engineering communication etc. please do reference them.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

### RE: Single Space or Double?

I did a little 'research' in my home 'library' looking at books which are specifically related to English Composition and I could NOT find any mention of this issue, double spacing after a period.  So I performed an experiment.  I looked at how each of the books (there were 3) actually used spaces in sentences in the books themselves and I got mixed results.  And while my sample was small, it was interesting that of the 3 books, the only one that used double spaces was the oldest, while the newer books used a single space.

So for what it's worth...

Double spaces:

'Plain English Handbook', by Walsh, © 1959

Single spaces:

'The Elements of Style', by Strunk and White, © 1979

'Eats, Shoots & Leaves:  The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation', by Truss, © 2003

Not sure if that helped any, but I suspect that I will continue to use the rules I learned back in 1965 when I took typing in high school

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Design Solutions
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
http://www.siemens.com/plm
http://www.plmworld.com/museum/

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th ed. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2009.

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 5th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2001.

The Chicago Manual of Style: the Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers. 15th ed. Chicago: The University of Chicago, 2003.

A retired engineer deserves no more respect than the teenager serving my food. You get what you give.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

(OP)
Well... it's good to see so many people passionate about their spaces!

"Art without engineering is dreaming; Engineering without art is calculating."

Have you read FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies to make the best use of these Forums?

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Read back to my post on 20 Apr where I copied the text from the APA style guide.

Single space after a period with some exceptions.

"Wildfires are dangerous, hard to control, and economically catastrophic."

Ben Loosli

### RE: Single Space or Double?

I did.  This part

[quote=in part]This is undoubtedly in response to the capabilities of modern word-processing devices to determe the correct aesthetic distance between punctuation marks and subsequent letters.[/quote]

is the portion that is open to question.  The fact that it can be set in MS Word is hardly an overwhelming recommendation.  Keep in mind the oddness that MS Word can come up with in fully justified text mode, which is a similar sort of automated spacing.

Norm

### RE: Single Space or Double?

I wasn't ignoring you looselib.

However, I was taught - not that long ago - in an actual typing class, where typing and formatting of said typed items was the primary aim of the class, to use double spacing.

I wonder what RSA has to say about it, I couldn't find anything up to date with a quick look.

Plus what do I care how psychologists want to miss-type their musings.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

### RE: Single Space or Double?

With most proportional fonts, the space character is too narrow for my taste. IMHO, using a proportional font with only one space between sentences reduces readability. Thus, I typically use two spaces with a proportional font and one for a fixed font such as Courier. Eng-tips makes this tricky because the box I am typing in displays Courier, but my post will show up as Arial (or some clone). This has me greatly conflicted.

==========
"Is it the only lesson of history that mankind is unteachable?"
--Winston S. Churchill

### RE: Single Space or Double?

I started looking through several of my engineering reference books.  Some of them use one space after a period, some use two, and some are variable based on what is required to justify each line.  I've been reading from these books for several years and hadn't ever noticed which have one space and which have two.  I am guessing almost all of you are the same way.  That tells me it doesn't really matter whether there are one or two spaces after a period.

I will continue to use two spaces because I like the way it looks, but that isn't really a very convincing argument for the rest of you to use two spaces instead of one.

### RE: Single Space or Double?

Wordpress (blog software) used to force one space, but now does not.  Unforturnately for me, I always entered my articles with two spaces, which it truncated, so when newer versions of Wordpress allowed double spaces, it inserted a weird A symbol where I had my double spaces.  Very annoying.

Matt Lorono, CSWP
Product Definition Specialist, DS SolidWorks Corp
Personal sites:
Lorono's SolidWorks Resources & SolidWorks Legion

### RE: Single Space or Double?

I remember in school that one teacher used to remove grades for putting the double space up, where another would remove grades if you DIDN'T put the double space.   Of course, when presented with the issue, neither of them would back down, and neither was willing to give me back my points.   Oh how I miss those days

NX 7.5
Teamcenter 8

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