Evelyn Chartres Author

Normalizing Your Manuscript Using Single-Spacing

Large works of prose are prone to having formatting inconsistencies introduced over time. Quirks in your word processor may lead to unexpected behaviour. I.e. Google Docs interprets a series of spaces as tabulations during a paste operation and WordPress will insert non-breaking spaces in order to display double-spacing.

This tutorial will reference the same text throughout. A sample is available through Google Docs. Set Microsoft Word to display formatting to get a view similar to the one below

In other situations, people will either single-space or double-space at the end of a sentence. While a single author may be diligent in applying their preference, errors may be introduced and review processes are not guaranteed to cover every instance.

This tutorial will reference the same text throughout. A sample is available through Google Docs. Set Microsoft Word to display formatting to get a view similar to the one below

“A·vision·from·the·past·becomes·a·
writer’s·deadly·obsession,”·Evelyn·
Chartres.¶

The·Portrait·is·a·Gothic·horror·
about·Victoria·Frost,·an·author·who·
develops·an·unhealthy◦obsession·for·
her·character◦·As·events·unfold,·
her·obsession·turns·on·her·forcing·
the·author·to·question·her·sanity.···
Is·this·simply·insanity·or·are·there·
other·factors·in·play?···¶

·The·Portrait·is·a·mixture·of·
contemporary·and·historical·pieces·
with·the·latter·revolving·around·
her·character·and·muse.····In·this·
novel,·→the·author·will·revisit·an·
iconic·scene·using·both·prose·and·
art·yielding·new·pieces·to·the·
puzzle.¶

The above sample has instances of tabulations and varied spacing. Using the Find and Replace capability, the manuscript will be normalized using a series of steps.

Normalizing all Spacing

Making all of the spacing in your manuscript the same should be your first step. This will reduce the amount of steps overall.

When viewing formatting symbols you may see the following three types of spacing:

  • Space (·) – Normal spacing created when pressing on the spacebar. Normal spacing will not keep words together;
  • Non-Breaking Space (◦) – Spacing which will keep words together. There is no way to insert using your keyboard; and
  • Tabulation (→) – A space which covers variable area. If a word is longer it will take up less spacing and more with smaller words. These are inserted when you press on the Tab key.

The goal is to transform all tabulations and non-breaking spaces into a space.

Note

This assumes you are not using tabulations or non-breaking spaces for formatting. If you do, select the area prior to using Find and Replace to narrow the scope of the search or skip converting your tabulations.

From the Home Ribbon, click on Replace as which will pop-up the Find and Replace window.

01-Search-Replace-Ribbon.pngClick in the Find what textbox to make ensure the cursor placed there. Next, click on Special and select Tab Character from the pop-up. This will insert ^t and instructs Microsoft Word to search for tabulations. Alternatively, you could simply type in ^t yourself to save a few clicks.

SS000-Tab-Space-Replace.pngPlace a single space (·) within the Replace with textbox which replaces all tabulations with a space. When satisfied, click on Replace All.

Note

Spaces are shown below using the (·) formatting character for clarity. Make sure you use a proper space instead when looking over the screenshots.

SS001-Tab-Space-Parameters.pngSince there is one (1) tabulation in the sample, you should get the same results as below.

12-Replacement-Results.pngThe document should look as follows with formatting in place.

A·vision·from·the·past·becomes·a·
writer’s·deadly·obsession,”·Evelyn·
ChartresThe·Portrait·is·a·Gothic·horror·
about·Victoria·Frost,·an·author·who·
develops·an·unhealthy◦obsession·for·
her·character◦·As·events·unfold,·
her·obsession·turns·on·her·forcing·
the·author·to·question·her·sanity.···
Is·this·simply·insanity·or·are·there·
other·factors·in·play?···¶

·The·Portrait·is·a·mixture·of·
contemporary·and·historical·pieces·
with·the·latter·revolving·around·
her·character·and·muse.····In·this·
novel,· the·author·will·revisit·an·
iconic·scene·using·both·prose·and·
art·yielding·new·pieces·to·the·
puzzle.¶

Now click on Special and select Nonbreaking Space from the pop-up. This will insert ^s and instructs Microsoft Word to search for tabulations. Otherwise type in ^s yourself to save a few clicks.

SS002-Non-Breaking-Spaces.pngPlace a single space (·) within the Replace with textbox which replaces all tabulations with a space. When satisfied, click on Replace All.

SS003-Non-Breaking-Spaces-Parameters.pngSince there is two (2) non-breaking spaces within our sample, you should get the same results as below.

SS004-Non-Breaking-Spaces-Parameters-Results.png

The document should look as follows with formatting in place:

“A·vision·from·the·past·becomes·a·
writer’s·deadly·obsession,”·Evelyn·
Chartres.The·Portrait·is·a·Gothic·horror·
about·Victoria·Frost,·an·author·who·
develops·an·unhealthy·obsession·for·
her·character··As·events·unfold,·
her·obsession·turns·on·her·forcing·
the·author·to·question·her·sanity.···
Is·this·simply·insanity·or·are·there·
other·factors·in·play?···¶

·The·Portrait·is·a·mixture·of·
contemporary·and·historical·pieces·
with·the·latter·revolving·around·
her·character·and·muse.····In·this·
novel,· the·author·will·revisit·an·
iconic·scene·using·both·prose·and·
art·yielding·new·pieces·to·the·
puzzle.¶

Confirming In-Paragraph Spacing

For this step, we use wildcards, so from the Find and Replace window check the Use wildcards option. Wildcards are incapable of using the special characters that were used in previous section, so the Special button displays a new set of features.

Attempts to use special characters will result in the following error:

17-Feature-Not-Supported.pngThis manuscript assumes that you will be using single-spacing between sentences. This assumption significantly reduces the amount of steps necessary and will prevent the introduction of oddities when exporting to an Ebook. An Ebook will insert non-breaking spaces to display two (2) spaces and creates an odd effect when near the end of a line or when starting one.

Insert ([.\!\?””;,])·{2,}into the Find what textbox and \1· into the Replace with textbox.

SS005-Paragraph-Spacing-Options.pngAgain, this may be confusing, so let us break it down to explain.

[.\!\?””;,]

Provides a list of characters to match in our search. In this case, the period, exclamation point, question mark and end quotes, semi-colon, colon and ellipse are searched for. The backslashes force search to treat preceding it characters literally. i.e. the exclamation point and question mark are special characters in searches.

()

Anything within a parenthesis may be referenced in the Replace with textbox, in this case it would be \1.

·{2,}

Find instances of at least one (2) spaces to make a match. This will ensure that we do not replace spacing that is already correct.

\1·

Replaces the matching text with whatever character was matched followed by a double space.

Click on Replace All to normalize spacing at the end of a sentence. Our sample yields several results with the document looking as follows with formatting in place:

“A·vision·from·the·past·becomes·a·
writer’s·deadly·obsession,”·Evelyn·
Chartres.The·Portrait·is·a·Gothic·horror·
about·Victoria·Frost,·an·author·who·
develops·an·unhealthy·obsession·for·
her·character·As·events·unfold,·
her·obsession·turns·on·her·forcing·
the·author·to·question·her·sanity.·
Is·this·simply·insanity·or·are·there·
other·factors·in·play?·¶

·The·Portrait·is·a·mixture·of·
contemporary·and·historical·pieces·
with·the·latter·revolving·around·
her·character·and·muse.·In·this·
novel,·the·author·will·revisit·an·
iconic·scene·using·both·prose·and·
art·yielding·new·pieces·to·the·
puzzle.¶

Erroneous Spacing

Erroneous spacing refers to misplaced white space located at either end of a paragraph. The sample we have been working with includes an example for both. To correct spacing at the end of a paragraph we insert ·{1,}(^13) in Find what and \1in the Replace with textboxes.

SS006-Paragraph-End-Spacing-Options.pngWhile this string is simpler than previous entries, I will break it down to explain.

·{1,}

Find instances of at least one (1) spaces to make a match.

(^13)

Special characters used to refer to a paragraph mark. Do not use ^p as this will not work with Wildcards. The parenthesis will preserve the formatting of that specific paragraph mark.

\1

Removes the spaces and drops in the found paragraph mark.

Clicking on Replace All will yield the following result with formatting:

“A·vision·from·the·past·becomes·a·
writer’s·deadly·obsession,”·Evelyn·
Chartres.The·Portrait·is·a·Gothic·horror·
about·Victoria·Frost,·an·author·who·
develops·an·unhealthy·obsession·for·
her·character·As·events·unfold,·
her·obsession·turns·on·her·forcing·
the·author·to·question·her·sanity.·
Is·this·simply·insanity·or·are·there·
other·factors·in·play?¶

·The·Portrait·is·a·mixture·of·
contemporary·and·historical·pieces·
with·the·latter·revolving·around·
her·character·and·muse.·In·this·
novel,·the·author·will·revisit·an·
iconic·scene·using·both·prose·and·
art·yielding·new·pieces·to·the·
puzzle.¶

To correct spacing for the beginning of a paragraph insert (^13)·{1,}([!^13]) in Find what then\1\2 in Replace with.

SS007-Paragraph-Start-Spacing-Options.pngHere is a breakdown of the string.

(^13)

Find an instance of a paragraph mark. The parenthesis means this can be referenced later in Replace with using \1.

·{1,}

Find instances of at least one (1) spaces to make a match.

([!^13])

String will instruct Microsoft Word to match any character that is NOT a paragraph mark. This element will be referenced in Replace with using \2.

\1\2

Drops the paragraph mark and non-paragraph mark back in without the spacing.

Clicking on Replace All will yield the following:

“A·vision·from·the·past·becomes·a·
writer’s·deadly·obsession,”·Evelyn·
Chartres.The·Portrait·is·a·Gothic·horror·
about·Victoria·Frost,·an·author·who·
develops·an·unhealthy·obsession·for·
her·character·As·events·unfold,·
her·obsession·turns·on·her·forcing·
the·author·to·question·her·sanity.·
Is·this·simply·insanity·or·are·there·
other·factors·in·play?¶

The·Portrait·is·a·mixture·of·
contemporary·and·historical·pieces·
with·the·latter·revolving·around·
her·character·and·muse.·In·this·
novel,·the·author·will·revisit·an·
iconic·scene·using·both·prose·and·
art·yielding·new·pieces·to·the·
puzzle.¶

And you are done! Single-spacing between sentences is a simpler process that requires less steps.

Summary

Follow these steps below to normalise your manuscript for single-spacing after a sentence.  All of these are done from the Find and Replace window.

Replace tabulations

Find what: ^t

Replace with: ·

Wildcards: No

Replace non-breaking spaces

Find what: ^s

Replace with: ·

Wildcards: No

Spacing within paragraphs

Find what: ([.\!\?””;,…])·{2,}

Replace with: \1·

Wildcards: Yes

Spacing at end of paragraph

Find what: ·{1,}(^13)

Replace with: \1

Wildcards: Yes

Spacing at start of paragraph

Find what: (^13)·{1,}([!^13])

Replace with: \1\2

Wildcards: Yes

Note

Spaces are shown below using the (·) formatting character for clarity. Make sure you use a proper space instead when looking over the screenshots.

CC BY-SA 4.0 Normalizing Your Manuscript Using Single-Spacing by Evelyn Chartres is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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