[OS X TeX] question regarding spacing after a period

Ross Moore ross at ics.mq.edu.au
Thu Mar 12 03:26:09 CET 2009

Hi Lee and Ayesha,

On 12/03/2009, at 12:21 PM, Lee Witt wrote:

> Hi. Just a non-Latex comment: unless you need two spaces, my  
> understanding is that in the era of non-typewriter (i.e., non-mono- 
> spaced fonts), the notion of two spaces after a period is no longer  
> advised - at least, that's what the writing faculty at my school  
> tell me.

In TeX, it is normal for the space following a period to be slightly
larger than an inter-word space. This isn't as large as two normal
space widths, but neither should it be.

Thus there is no need to put 2 spaces at the end of a sentence.
You get a bit of extra space automatically.
In other word-processors, this extra space might come anyway too,
as part of the design of the font.

As Lee says, the two spaces are not advised, as it was always too
much anyway, and if several things are trying to compensate
you may get a lot more than what you really wanted.

> So, unless this is a problem with journal or other guidelines, or  
> an issue that seriously troubles you, I don't think you have to  
> worry about it.

Precisely. Those guidelines were written by people who
don't know about TeX and other modern typesetting systems.

Just let (La)TeX do it's thing -- there's unlikely to be
any objection from the publishers concerning this.

> Lee
> On Mar 11, 2009, at 8:03 PM, Ayesha Rumjahn wrote:
>> Hello,
>> I am wondering if anyone can help me. I am writing an English  
>> paper and using LaTeX, I thought that I would automatically get
>> two spaces (or a larger space) after each period. However, I am  
>> only getting one and am confused as to why. I've tried adding  
>> \nonfrenchspacing,
>> but its not working well. I used texshop downloaded from mactex.  
>> Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Hope this helps,


Ross Moore                                       ross at maths.mq.edu.au
Mathematics Department                           office: E7A-419
Macquarie University                             tel: +61 (0)2 9850 8955
Sydney, Australia  2109                          fax: +61 (0)2 9850 8114

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