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Space before Percent Sign

Space before Percent Sign

Space before Percent Sign

I continue to lurk, mostly, in an editor's facebook group. They bring up technical stuff from time to time.

Do you place a space between a number and a percent sign, or units in general? Do 37.6% of us make up statistics on the spot, or is it 48.2 % of us that do it?


RE: Space before Percent Sign

I never use a space before the percent sign since I always see it as part of the number itself.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Digital Factory
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

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

RE: Space before Percent Sign

never use a space too.

I think I am afraid to loose the % so I stick together with the number and then I sleep better.

"If you want to acquire a knowledge or skill, read a book and practice the skill".

RE: Space before Percent Sign

New York Times style manual:

1) % may be used in headlines only. In text, it should be spelled out 'percent.'

2) When % is used, no space after the number as the others have said.

Best to you,

Goober Dave

Haven't see the forum policies? Do so now: Forum Policies

RE: Space before Percent Sign

From NIST's Guide for the Use of the International System of Units (SI):


... this Guide takes the position that it is acceptable to use the internationally recognized symbol % (percent) for the number 0.01 with the SI and thus to express the values of quantities of dimension one (see Sec. 7.14) with its aid. When it is used, a space is left between the symbol % and the number by which it is multiplied [4: ISO 31-0]. Further, in keeping with Sec. 7.6, the symbol % should be used, not the name “percent.”
Example: xB = 0.0025 = 0.25 % but not: xB = 0.0025 = 0.25% or xB = 0.25 percent

"Live and act within the limit of your knowledge and keep expanding it to the limit of your life." Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged.
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RE: Space before Percent Sign

Consistency within a group and within a document seems the most important thing. Like consistently using a particular flavour of English. I don't use a space, but if I write for a journal that mandates it, I won't throw toys.

Most arguments like this are either based on preference or clarity. This one seems to be preference, no loss in clarity either way.

- Steve

RE: Space before Percent Sign

Personally I think without a space - 10% appears to be a better defined statement than 10 % (is there a .xx missing?), however ..............

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: Space before Percent Sign

Word wrap may move the % to the next line if there is a space

RE: Space before Percent Sign


On my original post, I applied a non-breaking space between the number and the percent sign. The HTML code for non-breaking space is &nsbp;. You place this between square brackets and the Tecumseh editor converts it to HTML.

If you cannot apply non-breaking spaces, then your concern is correct, and fairly nasty.


RE: Space before Percent Sign

I have to say sorry for the confusion in my previous post as today I realized that I dont use the space.
It happened when I was filling out an excel spreadsheet and I was instinctively sticking like hell the number and percent sign.
I even tried to put a space but I did not feel good about it...

"If you want to acquire a knowledge or skill, read a book and practice the skill".

RE: Space before Percent Sign

I don't use a space 100% (100 percent) of the time.

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)

RE: Space before Percent Sign

Personally I don't put a gap before the % sign, but BSI and ISO always introduce one whenever I submit a draft standard.

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