Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Consistent Spacing.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 28, 2015)
There is an unwritten rule in typesetting that there should only be one space after the end of a sentence. This provides the best visual appearance on a printed page, particularly when using proportional typefaces. The problem is that it is easy to add additional spaces at the end of a sentence without even realizing it. The following macro, CheckSpaces, is a tool you can use to double-check the end of your sentences:
Sub CheckSpaces() Call MakeChanges("Normal", ".") Call MakeChanges("Normal", "!") Call MakeChanges("Normal", ":") End Sub
Sub MakeChanges(StyName As String, PuncMark As String) Selection.HomeKey Unit:=wdStory Selection.Find.ClearFormatting Selection.Find.Style = ActiveDocument.Styles(StyName) Selection.Find.Replacement.ClearFormatting With Selection.Find .Text = PuncMark & " " .Replacement.Text = PuncMark & " " .Forward = True .Wrap = wdFindContinue .Format = True End With Selection.Find.Execute Replace:=wdReplaceAll Selection.Find.Text = PuncMark & " " Selection.Find.Execute Replace:=wdReplaceAll End Sub
CheckSpaces will only take extra spaces out of paragraphs formatted with the Normal style. This ensures you won't mess up formatting in tables or other design elements where you may want extra spaces after periods. If you want to change the type of punctuation searched for, or search in different style paragraphs, add additional calls to MakeChanges after the fourth line in the macro.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9695) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Consistent Spacing.
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