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I have been to college 6 times. Three for degrees and twice to pick up courses I wanted, one dropped out due to money issues and decided to not go after that degree/major. I had to take several English writing-related classes. The first degree required a typing course. Ever since then, on mainframes and the PCs, I was told to always use double-spacing after sentences. If I handed in a typed or word-processed document and did not double space it, I was marked off for not using the standard "format". Also some required double-spacing for the lines of text as well.

Yes, there are those people who do not like a double space after sentences, due to the justifying of the text for a book or similar printed "document". Personally, I have a friend in the book editing field and if the publisher wanted a single spaced manuscript, then all you need to do is change a double space to a single one in you text editor, like LO. I have done that before. I tend to automatically add the double space at the end of my sentences by 40+ years of typing on a computer keyboard, dumb terminal or PC based.

Now as for changes in what it "proper" formatting styles, I noticed that over the years, the "proper" ways of doing things, like footnotes and the other non-paragraph items, seem to change over the years. What was done in the 70's and 80's was not "proper" in the 90's and '00's.

To be honest, you need people, like our documentation writers, to tell us what is acceptable now. They should be "up" on the current document formating ideas. But, if you were to talk to a newspaper writer, you will find that they would be told that double spacing would waste "column space". For a book writer, writing 200+ page books, all of those double spaces can add up several [or many] more pages to be printed than the single spacing style. For people who charge by the page, then it could add up over a large number of copies.

So, personally I use double spacing. THEN, if I was to have it published, and needed to use single spacing, I would remove those extra spaces from the manuscript. That is simple enough today.

On 08/16/2013 03:06 AM, Brian Barker wrote:
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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