Editing Rant: Clean Up #2 – Double Space

What to Clean Up before Sending to Editor #2

Before final publication, all the formatting needs to be pristine. Translating a file to multiple ebook formats (mobi, .epub, .pdf, .azw, .lit, etc) and hardcopy format takes time and effort. Dealing with extra formatting of spaces at the end of paragraph, chapters, or sentences delays the transformation from final words to publication where money is made. Remove any formatting issues, especially extra spaces and returns, prior to the editor working.

If you are self-publishing, you don’t want to be paying an editor to find double-spaces. Nor searching out the invisible extra returns or too many tabs. That is money out of your pocket for cleaning up emptiness,

If submitting to a publisher, formatting issues could mean the difference between an editor annoyed enough to eject your three-chapter sample from the slush pile or asking for full manuscript. You know you have read books where formatting issues made you toss it aside. Editors trying to pick books to work with are no different.

The biggest offender is the double-space after a period. If you are old enough to remember typewriters, you were taught to type with a double space after a period. Modern standards require only a single space.

Why the change?

Fonts on typewriters were monospace.  Each letter takes up the same amount of room, “i” and “m” for example.  To clearly see the end of a sentence, a double space was required.

Computers allow smart fonts. Letters vary in area usage. During the creation of the font, the combination of periods and spaces have been adjusted for easy reading. 

Double space is a dinosaur.

Courier New: Mmmm.  I love ice cream.

Times New Roman: Mmmm. I love ice cream.

Other posts in the Clean Up series
#1 – Commas
#2 – Double Spaces
#3 – Chapter Headings