Should you use 1 space after a period—or 2 spaces?  There are lots of opinions about this, and several studies have even been done to answer this question.

If you ask The Chicago Manual of Style, they recommend 1 space after a period.  But other publications argue for 2 spaces.  (And some software programs, like HTML, only operate on a 1-space system.)

But a recent study by Skidmore scientists, published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, studied how people read—using an eye-tracking software.  They discovered that using 2 spaces after a period offered a slight speed advantage (3% faster) than 1 space.

Personally, I recommend 2 spaces after a period—mainly because it adds more white space to the page, making it easier to skim for today’s insanely fast readers.

But if your boss (or company, professor, or department) prefers 1 space, then use 1 space.

At the end of the day, consistency matters most.  Whichever you choose, 1 space OR 2 spaces—just make sure that you, your team, and your organization are consistent within each document—and across documents companywide.


Does your team need help with writing faster, better, easier?  Ask me about my writing classes!