One Space or Two After a Period?


One Space or Two

One or Two Spaces?

It turns out that, in today’s world, the correct answer is almost always one:

Use just one space after a period.

Later in this article, I will show you how that extra little space can make a big difference in Kindle formatting.

If you want to learn why one space is better than two, why most educated people believe that “two” is the correct answer, when it’s really “one,” and how this misunderstanding has evolved, check out a really cool article called “Space Invaders” by Farhad Manjoo in Slate Magazine:

If you self-publish, this becomes a practical matter:

  • Examine traditionally published books carefully. You’ll see that one space after a period is almost universal.
  • Two spaces after a period can exaggerate gaps in justified text. This is important for both print books and e-books.
  • On Kindle e-books, that extra space can create a noticeable…

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17 thoughts on “One Space or Two After a Period?

  1. I had to research this before I published. I was taught in high school to put two spaces. Now it seems one is the correct answer. It took a while but I am finally getting into the habit of adding just one!


      • I never learned to type at school, so Gawd knows where I picked that up from… probably just made it up! One space does look better though…


      • Typing classes?!! Yeah, I learned to type in the same place as I learned all my other lessons, the University of Life and Hard Knocks lol!

        I honestly don’t know where I picked that up from, it’s just how I’ve always typed, and I only started using a computer through work, so it must have been in one of my…ahem… many varied jobs… I mean career choices.

        I’d also just like to point out that typewriters are so waaaaaay before my time…

        And I agree with you that one space on a Kindle looks so much better than two.


        • Yes, it shows my age to talk about typing classes. I was at the very end of the age of the typewriter. I was taking the very first computer classes at the same time. I took shorthand, too. There’s a very useful skill, these days.


          • Shorthand wow! Well, I’m sure it was very useful in its day lol! Do you still remember it? I always wanted to learn it… it looked kind of mysterious and ancient to me. Modern technology has advanced so rapidly hasn’t it?


          • Shorthand. I remember most of the symbols : ish, cha, jay, ou, kay, gay. Yea. I can write it, but I can’t go back later and read what I wrote. It was obsolete by the time I finished high-school. I never had a chance to use it.
            Technology – Really, could you have even dreamed of a Kindle or an I-phone. I grew up when calling home meant putting a dime in a pay phone. My kids have never used a pay phone.
            I wish they had never invented texting!!!!


          • I like texting! It means I can relay messages without having to get into a long conversation. Although I do love chatting on the phone too. My sons can’t imagine how we survived without laptops and xbox… I mean, what did we DO with our time?


          • It takes teenagers twice as long to do any chore because of the constant texting.
            What really makes me crazy is cooking for my boys and their friends. We gather around the table, hold hands, say a prayer and get ready to visit. Then the teenagers fill their plates, take pictures of their food and start texting to other people.
            Look around a table full of teenagers. Half of them are staring down into their laps, texting. Don’t text at my table, it makes me crazy! Visit with me!
            Life before xbox. I’m still waiting for my sons to bring home a girl that can sew, knit, crochet, embroidery, or do anything with their hands besides wiggle a joy stick.



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