How to Add Two Spaces After a Period Automatically in Word 2013

00_lead_image_two_spaces

There used to be an old typographical convention that it’s proper to use two spaces after a sentence. This came about because monospaced type has a uniform appearance and two spaces between sentences broke up the text and made it easier to read.

Nowadays, one space between sentences is the norm both online and in print. However, maybe you have a professor who insists you put two spaces between sentences, and you don’t want to get marked down for forgetting to do this. Word doesn’t have a way to automatically insert two spaces after a sentence, but you can have the grammar checker flag places in your document where you put one space at end of a sentence.

To have the grammar checker flag single-spaced sentences, click the “File” tab.

01_clicking_file_tab

On the backstage screen, click “Options” in the list of items on the left.

02_clicking_options

On the “Word Options” dialog box, click “Proofing” in the list of items on the left.

03_clicking_proofing

In the “When correcting spelling and grammar in Word” section, click the “Settings” button to the right of the “Writing Style” drop-down list.

04_clicking_settings_button

The “Grammar Settings” dialog box displays. In the “Require” section, select “2” from the “Spaces required between sentences” drop-down list. Click “OK” to accept the change and close the dialog box.

05_selecting_spaces_required

Click “OK” on the “Word Options” dialog box to close it.

06_closing_word_options

Word will now flag each occurrence of a single space after a period, whether it be at the end of a sentence or elsewhere.

If you want to fix occurrences of a single space between sentences, you can use the “Find and Replace” feature to search for a period followed by a single space and replace it with a period followed by two spaces. However, you should replace each occurrence as you go, rather than replacing them all at once. You may find phrases like “Mr. Smith,” where you don’t want to replace the period and space.

Lori Kaufman is a writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.