Full stop in word

Soldato
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Weird request, however I'm in the process of formatting my dissertation and have just read this line

Leave three character spaces after full stops

BAH! Is there a quick way of doing this without going through 25,000 words looking for full stops and adding 2 spaces?
 
Associate
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You could do a search for "." and replace it with ". " ( a full stop followed by three spaces ), do a replace all
 
Soldato
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Be careful, as this will also adjust decimal points and other things you don't want adjusted.... You'd be better with some kind of regex search. Has it been laid out with a mono-spaced typeface? If not, it's strange to specify a number of spaces after a stop..?

edit - also not sure in word, just how flexible the paragraph styles are but can you specify a number of spaces after a full stop in a paragraph style? (you are using para styles, right?)
 
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Soldato
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I'm not sure how this applies to auto-replace, I'll say that first. But you can specify the number of spaces required after a full stop in the spelling and grammar options. Set it to check grammar (as opposed to just spelling) and set to "Spaces after a full stop: 3" (paraphrased). That way you can skip through the document and hit "Fix all" for the first flagged lack of spaces after a full stop?

Just a though. Back up the document (three times :p) before trying. Good luck!
 
Soldato
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I was always taught two after a full stop but I never got out of the habit and almost always use one. It's never done me any harm.

I'm a bit of a hippy when it comes to language and if it's legible with correct grammar and spelling then it really doesn't matter. It is better to have single spaces than risk throwing in some odd formatting with search & replace in my opinion.
 
Soldato
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It should be two spaces after anything that signifies the termination of a sentence. "." "!" "?" ":" etc

This is what I've always thought too, I've never heard of three spaces being used and just having the one doesn't read right.
 
Soldato
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Yeah, proper for print is two spaces. If it's a website though, it's incorrect to use more than one space.

To be fair though, even two spaces is outdated as it was meant for the days of typewriters and less legible fonts.
 
Associate
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19 Dec 2008
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Why would you want two spaces after a full stop?

I believe it actually comes from the typewriter era where there was only fixed-space gaps between characters.

Therefore in order to get the requisite gap between a terminating punctuation mark two presses of the space-bar were required.

In most modern word processors it automatically provides the amount of space (or at least a suitable amount of space), with no need for manual intervention. However I do it automatically, so the habit persists.
 
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