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In all my years of writing about type, it’s still the question I hear most often, and a search of the web will find threads galore on the subject.I’m going to try to put an end to the argument here. But the use of double spaces (or other exaggerated spacing) after a period is a typographic convention with roots that far predate the typewriter.
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I am not a type historian, nor am I an antiquarian book collector, so the oldest printed book I own dates only to 1819. The practice in those days was hardly universal, though, and many contemporaneous anglophone volumes — John Baskerville’s 1763 Bible, for example — show the spacing that we now regard as the norm; that is, a single word space between sentences.
That book, though — a Dutch theological bibliography — uses em spaces (which are more or less equivalent to two word spaces) after periods. The earliest printed example of exaggerated inter-sentence spacing that I could find is a hoary one indeed.
You can change the kerning—the amount of space between each individual character, for a special effect on a title or other parts of text.
You can also apply a dropped capital letter to introduce a body of text, add a shading or border onto your document. You can adjust the spacing for individual portions of the document by selecting the text you want to change and then adjusting the spacing as outlined above.It’s the debate that refuses to die: Do you set one word space or two after a period?I’m not prepared to aver that double spaces at the ends of sentences arose from crass commercial concerns, but I think it makes a quality rumor, and you can say you saw it here first.Styles in all things change, and for reasons that are unclear to me, the habit of double-spacing faded away.And Aldus Manutius was famous as a thrifty, profit-conscious printer.He developed what we now call italics as a way to jam more type onto the page to save money on paper.Side bearings for narrow characters such as punctuation marks have to be puffed up.The overall effect of such type is very airy and open and its spacing is poorly modulated.Applying bold, underline, or italics when appropriate, can emphasize text.You might find that having different font sizes in your document to denote various topics will also enhance your document.