[Tree in a rural area] (LOC)

Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr

I know, I know. Your English teacher drummed into your head that there are TWO spaces following a period, and before you start the next sentence in a paragraph. And that’s still correct, WHEN you are writing a letter.

HOWEVER, when you are writing a manuscript, you only put one space at the end of each sentence. This evolved to save printed space in the final book. If you have that extra space in every printed book, it will add a few pages to that book, which will add to the amount of paper needed to print it, the weight of the shipping box used to send your books to the bookstore, and the amount of shelf space used to display your lovely printed darling. All for what? Essentially blank space.

All of the books on your bookshelves only have one space between the sentences, and I bet you never even noticed it before now.

Are you wondering if you need to go through your current manuscript, sentence by sentence, and remove that offending space? I suppose that is one way to do it. Perhaps while you sit down in front of the TV one evening, you can edit it that way.

I prefer a much easier solution. If you use Word, go to the “Home” tab (you are probably already on it when you open your document), press the “Editing” button, and then click on the “Replace” option. A dialogue box will appear. In the “Find What” box, enter two spaces. In the “Replace With” box, enter one space. Lastly, press the “Replace All” button at the bottom of the page and watch your document shrink in size.

Amazing, isn’t it? And think of all the trees you just saved.