One space or two?Complications Ensue
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Saturday, April 02, 2011

While we're on the subject of formatting: one space after a period, or two?

Back in the day of the typewriter, the standard was two spaces after a period. Then along came computers with proportionally spaced fonts, and the standard is now one.

But Screenwriter defaults to two spaces, and Courier is a monospaced font.

Do you use one space or two?

Free Web Survey

UPDATE: A slight majority use a single space.



In a 110 page script, the double-space will add roughly one page to the total count. So if you're struggling to keep the pages lean, single-spacing can help.

But the double-space does make dialogue easier for actors during read-throughs.

By Blogger Tom, at 12:36 PM  

Two. Easier to read.

I'll nudge a sentence or two if it creates an orphan.

By Blogger James, at 3:37 PM  

I was trained to write through journalism. One space.

By Blogger Emily Blake, at 1:57 PM  

Coming from print, I'm a one-space girl as well. I've read lots and lots of scripts with two spaces and they do seem a tad easier to read, but you know what's also easy to read? Books targeted at 3-year-olds. That doesn't mean I'm going to write exclusively in two-to-four-word sentences about boats and puppies. Actors can handle one space.
Besides, Rob Thomas only uses one space after his sentences, and what's good enough for Rob Thomas is good enough for me.

By Blogger Little Miss Nomad, at 5:28 PM  

Since the early days of typesetting, the standard is always one space. The double space after a period was only added to compensate for bad technology. A period would sometimes touch or get overlapped by an extended base like "K" or "L".

If you're punching out scripts on a 1950's typewriter, a double space is probably a good idea. For everyone else, no.

By Blogger Kody¬†Chamberlain, at 12:00 PM  

Two for me. Cleaner.

By Blogger Michael, at 1:12 AM  

Slate article claiming that it should always be one space... except in Courier.

That said, I was trained to do two, so I still do two.

By Blogger Andy M, at 2:10 AM  

I used to only use one, but in the last year I switched to two. I was corrected when working on a show with US writers, and they were used to two. Now I can't go back, I think it looks much better, more professional. Especially with courier.

By Blogger Trevor Finn, at 2:30 PM  

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