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Up until 20 years ago, thanks to typewriters, it was common to see sentences written with two spaces the period. At long last, Microsoft Word has started marking double spaces as an error by default. If you’re a two-spacer who hates this idea, here’s how to prevent it from happening.

Microsoft has confirmed that it will start marking double spaces as a typo, so if you’re keen on the two-space side of the argument, you’ll soon find out that your righteous two spaces after a period are suddenly sullied by a red dotted line.

RELATED: How to Change Double Spaces to Single Spaces in Microsoft Word

You can prevent this error message from appearing by changing a setting within Word. Regular Office updates will respect settings changes you make, so when Word changes its default behavior on this, you won’t be affected.

To change the setting, open any Word document and click File > Options.

The "Options" menu item

Next, select Proofing > Settings.

The Proofing option and the "Settings" button.

Scroll down to the “Punctuation Conventions” section, change the “Spaces Between Sentences” to “Two Spaces,” and then click the “OK” button.

This will make Word enforce the use of two spaces and mark a single space after a period as an error, keeping your writing consistent. If you don’t care how many spaces appear after a period and don’t want Word checking, select “don’t check” in this box instead.

The "Grammar Settings" panel with the "Space Between Sentences" option highlighted.

Click the “OK” button again to exit the Options panel and then you’ll be finished. From now on, Microsoft Word will not mark two spaces after a sentence as an error. If an update changes this, you can always go back to the word processor’s Settings menu and change it again.

If you can’t break the habit of writing two spaces after every sentence, you can have Word automatically change double spaces to single spaces.

Rob Woodgate Rob Woodgate
Rob Woodgate is a writer and IT consultant with nearly 20 years of experience across the private and public sectors. He's also worked as a trainer, technical support person, delivery manager, system administrator, and in other roles that involve getting people and technology to work together.
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