Tip of the week # 565
24 February 2019

Find all occurrences of two spaces after a full stop and replace them with one (Microsoft Word) *

Do you press the space bar once after a full stop or are you a "two spacer"? Lots has been written about this subject, with opposing views, so last year three psychology researchers decided it was time to sort the question once and for all. Their verdict was that two spaces after the period makes reading slightly easier. So they submitted their paper with two spaces after each full stop ... only to find that the journal deleted all the extra spaces from their publication (see

So what if you want to find all occurrences of two spaces after a full stop and replace them with one?

Here's how:

  1. Make sure that the insertion point is located at the beginning of the document. (CTRL+Home anyone?)
  2. Press CTRL+H or click on the Replace button in the Editing group on the Home tab.
  3. In the Find what box, press the SPACEBAR twice. (The box will look empty, but if you are very observant you will see a tiny flashing dot.)
  4. Press the TAB key on your keyboard, to move to the Replace with box. (Or use your mouse if you must ;)
  5. Press the SPACEBAR once.
  6. Click Replace All.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Press Esc to close the dialog box.

You can obviously use the same procedure if you want to stick to the two space rule.

Related tips:

  1. How to find (and replace) highlighted text: tip_401.php
  2. How to add, find and remove line breaks: tip_458.php


* Unless stated otherwise, these tips were written for Microsoft Office 2010.