How to Break the Habit of Typing Two Spaces After a Period

I learned the habit of typing two spaces after a period when I first learned to type on a typewriter. I’ve decided to break the habit, but it’s been really hard to do on my own. The extra space is ingrained in my muscle memory and I keep typing it, even as I’m writing about stopping.

In order to help me break the habit, I added a rule to my AutoHotkey script.

Here is the code.

; Break the habit of typing two spaces after a period.
:*?:.  ::
  MsgBox No extra space!

It removes the period and two spaces and pops up a message box reminding me to stop typing the extra space. This is to give me practice typing one space.

Here is the frustration process in action.

Me typing two spaces after a period.

You could use the following code to get rid of the extra space automatically, but that probably won’t help you break the habit.

; Turn a period followed by two spaces into a period followed by one space
:*?:.  ::.{space}

As to why I’m stopping, it’s more efficient and it’s a relic of a bygone era. Even with a typewriter, a single space after a period looked fine. Frankly, I’m not sure why I was taught to type that way.

I’m curious how long it will take to stop seeing that message box after every sentence. :)


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  1. Good Idea. What about a hotkey to invert Caps Lock?

    Comment by Michael Sheriff on November 13, 2014 @ 4:21 pm
  2. I’m not sure what you mean. (Argh, I typed two spaces). Hitting the Caps Lock button toggles it on and off. What would you want it to do instead?

    Comment by Dan on November 13, 2014 @ 4:26 pm
  3. I just wanted to report here that this method has been incredibly effective. In just a few days I stopped this habit. Only rarely do I get the dreaded popup now. Maybe once or twice a week. I’m impressed with how well it worked.

    Comment by Dan on January 14, 2015 @ 4:03 pm
  4. Two spaces are required after a full stop. Why not try to break the “habbit” of spelling correctly?

    Comment by Dan on May 18, 2016 @ 3:24 pm
  5. It’s a vestige of typewriters. The Complete Manual on Typography (2003) states that “The typewriter tradition of separating sentences with two word spaces after a period has no place in typesetting” and the single space is “standard typographic practice”.

    Comment by Dan on May 19, 2016 @ 7:52 am

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