Quickly Strip Double-Spaces from Word Documents

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If you're over the age of 40, you probably took a typing class in school--and learned that it's proper to leave two spaces after a period.

That was then. In today's world, it's one space after a period. Always. No exceptions.

Of course, that can be a hard habit to break. And I encounter countless documents (provided to me for editing and whatnot) that exhibit the old two-spaces-after-a-period rule. What's the big deal? Well, when you copy or import that document into a blog post, newsletter, or whatever, the text will probably look ill-formatted.

Fortunately, there's an easy way to turn double spaces into a single spaces. This trick works in Word and most other word processors, as well as other programs that have a Find/Replace function. Here's how (using Word 2010 as an example):

1. Select all the text in the document (usually by pressing Ctrl-A).

2. Launch the Replace function (which in Word 2010 is Ctrl-H).

3. Click to place your cursor in the Find what field, then press the Space bar twice. In other words, enter two spaces.

4. Click to place your cursor in the Replace with field, then press the Space bar once. In other word, one space.

5. Click Replace All.

That's all there is to it! Word will find any instances of two spaces and replace them with one space. If something goes awry for some reason, you can always press Undo (Ctrl-Z).

Contributing Editor Rick Broida writes about business and consumer technology. Ask for help with your PC hassles at hasslefree@pcworld.com, or try the treasure trove of helpful folks in the PC World Community Forums.

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