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At 08:23 15/08/2013 -0400, James Knott wrote:
I have long been in the habit of putting a double space between sentences.

Indeed - and so have I.

I learned that in a typing class, IIRC.

Yes, but was that on a typewriter, where double spaces make sense?

What's the proper procedure in LO?

It's entirely up to every user what s/he does, of course. There are two main points, I think.

o I would suggest that two spaces are probably useful with fixed-pitch text as on a typewriter, especially when the sentence-ending full stop will be spaced so far from the last character of the sentence. So that's why we all learned that way. But that no longer applies with proportional fonts. (I still use double spaces in e-mail messages, since I send them as plain text and have no control how they are displayed by recipients.)

o In justified text, there is no such thing as a "single space" anyway: the size of the space between words depends on what happens to occur in the line. So there is no meaning to "two spaces" either: your word processor may permit you to include two consecutive space characters, but two spaces on one line could end up narrower than a single space on the next.

I'm really only throwing out the ideas, of course: it's up to individuals what they choose to do. (You'll have noticed my emoticon.) But it is worth dissuading novice word processor users not to attempt to use multiple spaces to indent text, for example: apart from being messy, this again will simply not work effectively in justified text or when rendered on another system.. The original questioner asked about "a series of spaces" (not necessarily double); he could have been attempting to line up text in columns, where he should (and could easily) have been using tabs or tables instead.

Brian Barker

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