Do you automatically hit space twice after a fullstop (a period)? Or hit Enter (Return) twice at the end of each paragraph?

In this day of digital type and sophisticated wordprocessors, these habits of old are no longer needed; and they complicate matters downstream if your material is being professionally published.

When we had typewriters and older computers with fix-width or fixed-spaced typefaces like Prestige and Courier, double spaces after fullstops were needed to better visually separate each sentence. We also hit Enter twice because that is the only way to separate paragraphs with a blank line.

With modern wordpressors, text parsers, content management systems and other text manipulating applications, a space character is used to programmatically delineate a word; while a paragraph character is used to programmatically delineate blocks of text. Spaces and paragraphs have a technical meaning beyond the visual. And using them without due consideration can make formatting, styling and repurposing text that much harder (ie cost you more money!)

Generally, if you are using a proportionally spaced typeface (where the letter “i” takes up less space than the letter “m”) like Times New Roman, Georgia, Arial, Calibri and so on, you should just hit space once at the end of each sentence.

Instead of hitting Enter multiple times to separate paragraphs, you should really be setting the paragraph spacing/margins to the appropriate size. Most if not all wordprocessors come with professionally designed style sets with headings, paragraphs, captions and other commonly used styles predefined. If you stuck to using these, chances are you will produce better looking and much more repurpose-able documents.