TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: space space From:Chuck Martin <techwriter -at- VNET -dot- IBM -dot- COM> Date:Mon, 9 May 1994 13:17:06 PDT
As I remember part of the explanation (I think it was from my Production
Editing class.), one of the reasons for using one space when using
proportional fonts is that the period appears not in the center of its
space, but tucked in next to the last letter. The net effect is equivalent
to about a space and a half.
In reality, the period, as well as the space, are typically given widths
narrower than the average letter. The net effect is supposed to be
"correct" spacing, the same as in typesetting. I'd be quite surprised
if PageMaker didn't do this.
In our books, it seems we add two spaces after a period with proportional
fonts. From the first time I saw the text, it looked unusual--not
necessarily wrong, but different from what I am used to. The effect may
also vary depending on the font used.
I know of no studies, but I have seen the "rule" about one space with
proportional fonts in the prior mentioned books, some of which I have, as
well as others. One resource I have found valuable is the book "Graphic
Design for the Electronic Age," by Jan V. White.
Information Developer, IBM
techwriter -at- vnet -dot- ibm -dot- com