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Make spaces between sentences bigger than between words?

I've noticed when exporting from Microsoft Word XP into an HTML file
that Word uses a span style of mso-spacerun: yes. This has the effect
of making there be about 2 spaces between sentences.

So you will see a sentence and then the tag.<span style='mso-spacerun:
yes'> </span>Well, this next sentence will occur two spaces later
because there are two spaces in the span.

How to do this without using MS's style? Is there some way to define a
portable CSS style that will do the same thing?

One can't use the nbsp to put an extra space between sentences because
it messes up in the case when the second sentence gets formatted as
the first visible characters on the next line. What happens is that
the second sentence appears indented by one space character.

So does anyone see a way to accomplish this effect of extra spaces
between sentences in a way that is portable to current Mozilla and
Opera versions?
Jul 20 '05 #1
15 28748
Randall Parker wrote:
I've noticed when exporting from Microsoft Word XP into an HTML file
that Word uses a span style of mso-spacerun: yes. This has the effect
of making there be about 2 spaces between sentences.

So you will see a sentence and then the tag.<span style='mso-spacerun:
yes'> </span>Well, this next sentence will occur two spaces later
because there are two spaces in the span.

How to do this without using MS's style? Is there some way to define a
portable CSS style that will do the same thing?

One can't use the nbsp to put an extra space between sentences because
it messes up in the case when the second sentence gets formatted as
the first visible characters on the next line. What happens is that
the second sentence appears indented by one space character.

So does anyone see a way to accomplish this effect of extra spaces
between sentences in a way that is portable to current Mozilla and
Opera versions?


Write every full stop (period) as <span class="endsent">.</span>, and
give it some margin-right. Yuk.

--
Mark.
Jul 20 '05 #2
In our last episode,
<d7**************************@posting.google.com >,
the lovely and talented Randall Parker
broadcast on comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets:
So does anyone see a way to accomplish this effect of extra spaces
between sentences in a way that is portable to current Mozilla and
Opera versions?


Use <pre>.

The use of two spaces between sentences is appropriate only
to monospaced fonts, anyway.
--
Lars Eighner -finger for geek code- ei*****@io.com http://www.io.com/~eighner/
If it wasn't for muscle spasms, I wouldn't get any exercise at all.
Jul 20 '05 #3
Mark Tranchant <ma**@tranchant.plus.com> wrote:
Write every full stop (period) as <span class="endsent">.</span>, and
give it some margin-right. Yuk.


Or, somewhat more logically, put each sentence inside a span element:
<span class="s">Hoc est sententia sine sensu.</span>

A reasonable amount of spacing, in an attempt to simulate an extra space
character in typewritten text, might be an extra space of half an em:
span.s { margin-right: 0.5em; }

Whether such extra spacing is desirable is a moot point. To many people,
it's strange, hence mildly disturbing. But it may help users to the
sentence structure more easily.

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Jul 20 '05 #4
"Randall Parker" <te**********@futurepundit.com> wrote in
comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets:
How to do this without using MS's style? Is there some way to define a
portable CSS style that will do the same thing?


The first question is not "how" but "whether".

Most modern typography, at least in the US, does not routinely put
extra space after the ends of sentences. Why should you?

I'm not sure _printers_ ever did, but _typists_ used to be taught to
hit the space bar twice after a sentence.

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com/
HTML 4.01 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/
validator: http://validator.w3.org/
CSS 2 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/
2.1 changes: http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/changes.html
validator: http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/
Jul 20 '05 #5
JRS: In article <MP************************@news.odyssey.net>, seen in
news:comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets, Stan Brown
<th************@fastmail.fm> posted at Thu, 15 Jul 2004 12:55:31 :
"Randall Parker" <te**********@futurepundit.com> wrote in
comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets:
How to do this without using MS's style? Is there some way to define a
portable CSS style that will do the same thing?


The first question is not "how" but "whether".

Most modern typography, at least in the US, does not routinely put
extra space after the ends of sentences. Why should you?

I'm not sure _printers_ ever did, but _typists_ used to be taught to
hit the space bar twice after a sentence.


Over here, they used to be taught to use three there, and probably two
after a colon or semicolon.

I've just opened a quality book printed in 1902, and the sentence-
spacing is several times the word-spacing. That much now looks unusual,
of course; but books printed later with doubled spacing read well.

It was IMHO a good practice; it is one which I believe to be
particularly helpful in monospace.

ISTM impractical for software to recognise sentence-endings reliably;
but, if it were, it would be well to have a CSS-type option to pad them.

--
John Stockton, Surrey, UK. ?@merlyn.demon.co.uk DOS 3.3, 6.20; Win98.
Web <URL:http://www.merlyn.demon.co.uk/> - FAQqish topics, acronyms & links.
PAS EXE TXT ZIP via <URL:http://www.merlyn.demon.co.uk/programs/00index.htm>
My DOS <URL:http://www.merlyn.demon.co.uk/batfiles.htm> - also batprogs.htm.
Jul 20 '05 #6
*Randall Parker* <te**********@futurepundit.com>:

How to do this without using MS's style?
Use a bigger space character. I don't know which one English
typists/typographers prefer, but there are quite a few to choose from in
Unicode:

U+2002 -   - 1 en = 1/2 em
U+2003 -   - 1 em
U+2004 -   - 1/3 em
U+2005 -   - 1/4 em = 1/2 en
U+2006 -   - 1/6 em = 1/3 en
U+2007 -   - figure (digit)
U+2008 -   - punctuation
U+2009 -   - thin
U+200A -   - hair
U+200B - ​ - 0

I guess it's the first one. Note that, although it should be very easy to
implement, many fonts lack some or even all of them and some browsers try
only the current font in search for a glyph, i.e. you'll probably get
question marks or little boxes.
Also, unlike the normal (U+0020) and non-breaking (U+00A0) spaces, the
width of these should not be affected by:

text-align: justify;
Is there some way to define a portable CSS style that will do the same
thing?


I think it's better to use a character here instead of extra mark-up,
which would be required to apply a style.

--
Arthur: "I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young."
Ford: "Why, what did she tell you?"
Arthur: "I don't know, I didn't listen."
(The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)
Jul 20 '05 #7
Tim
On 14 Jul 2004 22:26:13 -0700,
te**********@futurepundit.com (Randall Parker) posted:
One can't use the nbsp to put an extra space between sentences because
it messes up in the case when the second sentence gets formatted as
the first visible characters on the next line. What happens is that
the second sentence appears indented by one space character.


Yes, you can; if you write the sentences like this:

First one.&nbsp; Second one.&nbsp; Third one.

If a sentence finishes at the right margin, the &nbsp; will be ignored (on
every browser that I've tested), and you won't get an extra blank space at
the start of the next line, but you will if you did it in this fashion,
instead:

First one. &nbsp;Second one. &nbsp;Third one.

This is about the only way you're going to get it to work on most browsers.

There's a lot of arguments about this issue. Typists are taught (as was
I), to put extra spacing between *sentences* and after colons (no other
punctuation gets this treatment - this includes periods marking
abbreviations). e.g. Mr. Doe, Dr. John Smith, etc.

Typeset publications may (*) do the same thing, but by using a wider space
between sentences (not two). Typists use two spaces for reasons of
practicality (you either used one or two, there was no other option). The
documentation that I've read on typesetting suggested it was about 1.5
times the width of a normal space.

(* Publishing houses tend to follow their own styleguides. They'll do what
they *want* to do.)

It's to aid in reading, giving a slight pause between sentences (so to
speak - it gives the eye a definite break between sentences). It *DOES*
aid in reading, and is most definitely beneficial. Contrary to popular
misbelief, this has NOTHING to do with monospaced fonts; it's to do with
the spacing between sentences, period! Interword or intercharacter
spacing, whatever the type of font, is yet another thing in itself.

If you look at the punctuation available in unicode it would be possible to
use wider spaces, but I suspect that few browsers support it (they'd need
to support the entity, and allow it to be discarded at a line wrapping
point). If there's ever a time that they start to do that well, you can
always do a global search and replace on your documents for ".&nbsp;" to
whatever gives you a ".&widerspace;" (that's fake entity name for sake of
example).

Of course, if people wrote abbreviations as <abbr>etc.</abbr> then a
browser could put extra spacing after all periods that weren't part of an
abbreviation, all by themselves.

--
If you insist on e-mailing me, use the reply-to address (it's real but
temporary). But please reply to the group, like you're supposed to.

This message was sent without a virus, please delete some files yourself.
Jul 20 '05 #8
Stan Brown <th************@fastmail.fm> wrote in message news:<MP************************@news.odyssey.net> ...
"Randall Parker" <te**********@futurepundit.com> wrote in
comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets:
How to do this without using MS's style? Is there some way to define a
portable CSS style that will do the same thing?


The first question is not "how" but "whether".

Most modern typography, at least in the US, does not routinely put
extra space after the ends of sentences. Why should you?


Stan, Someone else wrote the document I'm reading and used this
practice. When I started stripping out the MS extensions I noticed
that it looked different and compared the old version with the extra
space to the new. To my eye the older version of the document looked
easier to read.

As someone else has mentioned: This used to be common practice. In my
view it does make the document easer to read. What "Most modern
typography" does is not as important to me as whether the text is
easier to read.
Jul 20 '05 #9
"Randall Parker" <te**********@futurepundit.com> wrote in
comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets:
In my
view it does make the document easer to read. What "Most modern
typography" does is not as important to me as whether the text is
easier to read.


I agree that "easier to read" should be preferred over "most common
practice" when they conflict.

But you might ask yourself where the _apparent_ conflict comes from.
Is everyone else wrong? Hardly likely. Is this a matter of your
personal taste? Possible, but I bet there's something else about the
document that makes a bigger difference than extra space after the
sentences.

For instance, maybe the line-height is too small. Printed documents
typically have some leading between lines, which greatly helps
readability; Web pages often don't. Putting in extra space after
sentences could help to mask that other problem.

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com/
HTML 4.01 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/
validator: http://validator.w3.org/
CSS 2 spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/
2.1 changes: http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/changes.html
validator: http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/
Jul 20 '05 #10
*Tim* <ti*@mail.localhost.invalid>:

It's to aid in reading, giving a slight pause between sentences
One would expect that languages like English, which don't use capital
letters for much else than the first letter of a sentence, wouldn't need a
further sentence break indicator.
If you look at the punctuation available in unicode it would be possible
to use wider spaces, but I suspect that few browsers support it (they'd
need
to support the entity, and allow it to be discarded at a line wrapping
point).


There are no entities for spaces except &nbsp; in HTML, so of course you
cannot reference them. OTOH numerical character references (decimal or
hexadecimal) should either work always or not at all. Some browsers don't
map them to Unicode, but wrongly to the current charset, though. It's
rather the fonts to worry about.

--
Save the whales, eat more dolphins!
Jul 20 '05 #11
On Fri, 16 Jul 2004 17:51:25 +0200, Christoph Paeper wrote:
One would expect that languages like English, which don't use capital
letters for much else than the first letter of a sentence, wouldn't need a
further sentence break indicator.
I'll return to this in a moment..
.... There are no entities for spaces except &nbsp; in HTML, so of course you
cannot reference them. OTOH numerical character references (decimal or
hexadecimal) should either work always or not at all.


It is ironic you made the comment you did when you
used two acronyms and a proper name within the
space of three sentences. ;-)

--
Andrew Thompson
http://www.PhySci.org/ Open-source software suite
http://www.PhySci.org/codes/ Web & IT Help
http://www.1point1C.org/ Science & Technology
Jul 20 '05 #12
*Andrew Thompson* <Se********@www.invalid>:
On Fri, 16 Jul 2004 17:51:25 +0200, Christoph Paeper wrote:

It is ironic you made the comment you did when you
used two acronyms and a proper name within the
space of three sentences. ;-)


Well, I'm more used to something like this:

| One would expect that Languages like English, which don't use
| Capital-Letters for much else than the first Letter of a Sentence,
| wouldn't need a further Sentence-Break-Indicator.
| There are no Entities for Spaces except &nbsp; in HTML, so of course
| you cannot reference them. OTOH numerical Character-References
| (decimal or hexadecimal) should either work always or not at all.

--
Useless Fact #5:
'Dreamt' is the only English word that ends in the letters 'mt'.
'I am.' is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.
The longest one-syllable word in the English language is 'screeched.'
Jul 20 '05 #13
Christoph Paeper <ch**************@nurfuerspam.de> wrote in message news:<op**************@crissov.heim4.tu-clausthal.de>...
*Tim* <ti*@mail.localhost.invalid>:

It's to aid in reading, giving a slight pause between sentences


One would expect that languages like English, which don't use capital
letters for much else than the first letter of a sentence, wouldn't need a
further sentence break indicator.


Mr. Paeper, why do you think English language rarely uses capitals in
ways that make sentence starts harder to find?

Suppose I'm in some 10 pt. English language font. Suppose I'm working
with Microsoft Word to write about, oh, lets see, how about BMS vs.
Mercedes Benz? Do you think I'd end up using capitals and period
characters in ways that made it hard for e.g. American or German
audiences to figure out where the sentences start and end?

Seriously though, I write technical documentation that describes how
computer programs work and I have to refer to such pop-down entries
off of File like Reopen File... and other things that make it hard
without extra help to figure out where sentences begin and end.

One can use different fonts or quotes around things to help out. But
reading a document someone else wrot that uses bigger gaps between
sentences I'm struck by how much the gaps help.
Jul 20 '05 #14
*Randall Parker* <te**********@futurepundit.com>:
Christoph Paeper <ch**************@nurfuerspam.de> wrote in message
One would expect that languages like English, which don't use capital
letters for much else than the first letter of a sentence, wouldn't
need a further sentence break indicator.
Mr. Paeper,


Hey! What have I done to deserve being last-named?
why do you think English language rarely uses capitals in
ways that make sentence starts harder to find?
German uses capitals a lot more than English, but there's no "double space
after period convention" in German typography. AFAICS---I would write that
out in any media but Usenet and e-mail---English uses capitals only in the
beginning of a sentence, names (incl. acronyms and derived adjectives) and
'I'. That's not much and many English sentences have only the one capital
at the start.

Well, the French even like to put (smaller) space before some punctuation
marks, whereas in other languages and scripts there are no spaces at all.
Suppose I'm in some 10 pt. English language font.
Does such a thing exist?
Seriously though, I write technical documentation that describes how
computer programs work and I have to refer to such pop-down entries
off of File like Reopen File... and other things that make it hard
without extra help to figure out where sentences begin and end.
Maybe it is the lack of capitals that is the problem: you're used to
expect a sentence start at almost any capital, I'm not.
reading a document someone else wrot that uses bigger gaps between
sentences I'm struck by how much the gaps help.


So why didn't you use it in your post?
Don't get me wrong: put as many spaces after a period as you like. I just
don't see the big benefit, which would justify extra markup or worrying
about broken characters.

--
"It is not worth an intelligent man's time to be in the majority.
By definition, there are already enough people to do that."

G. H. Hardy
Jul 20 '05 #15
Tim
*Tim* <ti*@mail.localhost.invalid>:
It's to aid in reading, giving a slight pause between sentences

Christoph Paeper <ch**************@nurfuerspam.de> posted:
One would expect that languages like English, which don't use capital
letters for much else than the first letter of a sentence, wouldn't need
a further sentence break indicator.
It is customary to do such things (more spacing between sentences), just
as it's customary to end sentences with a full stop and start the next
sentence with a capital letter. Because it's *customary* to do these
things, we tend to do them. And it became customary to do them because
they're beneficial.

By the way, it's not restricted to typeset documents. We do the same with
hand writing (just ask any teacher from a generation or two back, where
they actually taught things properly rather than just go with the flow).
If you look at the punctuation available in unicode it would be possible
to use wider spaces, but I suspect that few browsers support it
(they'd need to support the entity, and allow it to be discarded at a
line wrapping point).

There are no entities for spaces except &nbsp; in HTML, so of course you
cannot reference them. OTOH numerical character references (decimal or
hexadecimal) should either work always or not at all. Some browsers
don't map them to Unicode, but wrongly to the current charset, though.
It's rather the fonts to worry about.


I did say in "Unicode" not "HTML" (there's several characters available
using unicode regarding spaces), then went on to say that I didn't expect
most browsers to support them. Since they exist in Unicode, and you can
reference Unicode characters by number even if they haven't been named
(entity references), and browsers support the Universal Character Set which
is copied in the Unicode character schemes, you *can* use them
(theoretically). But even then I wouldn't hold out too much hope for good
browser support.

But, actually you're quite wrong. Look into the HTML 4.01 specifications,
and you'll see the following entities, as well as the &nsbp; one:

&ensp; (en space)
&emsp; (em space)
&thinsp; (thin space)

See: <http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/sgml/entities.html>

(Pretty much in the middle of the "general punctuation" section at the
bottom of the page.)

--
If you insist on e-mailing me, use the reply-to address (it's real but
temporary). But please reply to the group, like you're supposed to.

This message was sent without a virus, please delete some files yourself.
Jul 20 '05 #16

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