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inserting a thin non-breaking space in Word, macro (?)
Thread poster: Marta Fernandez-Suarez
Marta Fernandez-Suarez  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:06
English to Spanish
Oct 18, 2006

Hello prozian colleagues

Someone asked me recently how to do this, and, because I have never had to do it (I've been asked not to, before), I never learnt how to do it.

Strictly speaking, a few of us (French, Spanish, English...) have to use this space which is nowhere to be found in Word.

I have Microsoft Windows XP and Office 2003.

I have been looking in the forums and in Google and have not found any solution for those who, like me, are not as advanced in computing as they'd like to be.

Apparently, there seem to be two solutions for this:
- Using Unicode (which is not recommended for the newbies)
- Using a Macro

The second option seem the most popular. It would be a matter of taking the "1/4 of an m space" and taking two points off, because a thin space is "1/6 of an m".

Now, for me creating a macro is very challenging, simply because (even reading the instructions), I don't quite know what I'm doing... Hence, I gave it a try yesterday, I cancelled without recording, and now, if I go to Tools>Macro>Macros I can see in a note that something I did has been recorded.


I seem to have found the instructions and yet I do not dare to do anything.

Anybody can give or direct to instructions for "dummies" on this?

Thank you very much indeed for the answer.

Kind regards,

Marta


Found so far:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/assistance/HP051894201033.aspx

http://www24.pair.com/glyptica/ThousandsSeparator.html

http://www.microsoft.com/typography/developers/fdsspec/spaces.htm

Recommended, among other places, in http://publications.europa.eu/code/en/en-4100600en.htm




[Edited at 2006-10-18 16:25]


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Corinne Mercadier-Lucas
Local time: 19:06
English to French
+ ...
inserting a non breaking space Oct 18, 2006

hi Marta!
I only know this method: hold shift+Ctrl keys and press the space bar.
Is it what you are looking for? Let me know.
Corinne


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Feigola  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:06
Member (2007)
Spanish to Russian
+ ...
Inserting a non-breaking space Oct 18, 2006

Hi Marta,

Well, inserting a normal non-breaking space in Word is in fact easy: just press Shift, Cntrl and spacebar at the same time. To make it thinner, try selecting the space and changing the font size.
Hope it helps!


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:06
English to Polish
+ ...
Tough nut Oct 18, 2006

http://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/202f/index.htm

This is a unicode web site. The link takes you to "narrow no-break space".

Its code is 202F.

This character is not available in the popular fonts usually used in MS Office.

In Word, if you click Insert > Symbol and go to the Special Characters tab, you will find a number of thin spaces on the list, but only a "regular" space can be nonbreaking. (which you get by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+space).

So even a macro won't help you if you are writing in Times NR or Arial, because that "character" simply isn't there.

Elsewhere on the unicode page is a list of fonts which support that character.

That's not much help, I'm afraid, but maybe someone will take it further.

Pawel Skalinski

[Edited at 2006-10-18 15:51]


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Marta Fernandez-Suarez  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:06
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
thanks Oct 18, 2006

Hello PAS

Thank you very much for your input. I hope there is another way though.

Cheers

Marta


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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:06
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Thin no-break spaces don't exist Oct 18, 2006

Thin no-break spaces don't exist, if I've understood the articles in your links well.

http://www24.pair.com/glyptica/ThousandsSeparator.html gives a solution with the NarrowNoBreakSpace macro. I've tested the macro and it works.

Don't be afraid, make a copy of normal.dot and copy & paste the macro from the article (higlighted in blue) to the botom of your list with macros.

To paste a macro from a text editor in your Word macro editor do the following:
Select the macro(s) and Ctrl+C them.
In Word open Tools/Macro/Macros... (Alt+F8).
Click on the Edit button and push Ctrl+End to go to the bottom of the list.
Ctrl+V to paste your macros in the list.
Close the window of the editor to save.

To assign a keyboard sequence or a button to a macro do the following:
In Word open Tools/Customize...
Click on Macros in the Categories list.
Drag your macro to a toolbar.
Or click on the Keyboard button to assign a keyboard sequence to the macro.

Succes,
Gerard


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Marta Fernandez-Suarez  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:06
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
thanks Oct 19, 2006

Hi Corinne!!!

Thank you very much! The one I am looking for is a bit smaller. The one you mention is 1.4 of an m (I believe) and is listed in word>Insert>Symbol as a "non breaking space".

I think though, that most translators do use the one you mention, despite what the books recommend. Otherwise, how comes there is no other posting in the forums about this when there should be a few?

Hi Feigola

thanks also to you

Hi Gerard

Yes, that is why I wrote that it is nowhere to be found in Word, because it is not included by default.

I may try and find a book or search a bit more to know what I am doing before venturing to add the macro I found. Cheers for having tried it, for the encouragement and the detailed instructions; it is less daunting now!

Well, this maybe useful for those who look for this "mysterious" space in the future.

Kind regards,

Marta

Clarifications:

Found that a thin space was “1/6 of an m” in the Microsoft glossaries and in a Spanish website where it is mentioned that the only way of doing this is with a macro (http://xcastro.com/signos.html).


[Edited at 2006-10-20 08:15]

[Edited at 2006-10-20 08:16]

[Edited at 2006-10-20 08:17]


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Ken Cox  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:06
German to English
+ ...
Thanks to Gerard Oct 19, 2006

I haven't tried the macro, because I have little need for it, but it looks OK. It simply automates one of the two possible ways to create a thin nonbreaking space in Word (the other being to change the font size of the nonbreaking space -- but that is an unreliable solution because it will not scale if you change the font size of the text).

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P Forgas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:06
Portuguese to Spanish
+ ...
specific Spanish keyboard configuration Oct 30, 2006

hola Marta

try this great and free little programme

http://www.texytipografia.com/kbd.html

"También añade cuadratines, espacios finos y signos diversos como el calderón, el párrafo..., aunque con las limitaciones expuestas en el manual."

saluditos, P.


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Marta Fernandez-Suarez  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:06
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
gracias Oct 30, 2006

Hola P

¡Qué buena pinta tiene el enlace! ¡Muchísimas gracias!

Before doing anything, I would have to find out wether this program is compatible with Trados and SDLX. Eg. I would not want to have to change the language settings in order to use the program. This would pose an issue with the CAT tools I use.

Thank you very much.

Marta

*****************

Actually, there is always the option of translating as normal and then edit the final clean document changing the language settings. I'll see what I find and will keep you all posted if I have the certainty that there is no incompatibility issues.

[Edited at 2006-10-30 17:09]


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:06
Member
French to English
+ ...
standard NBSP + font size change Oct 31, 2006

I don't think you really need to be quite so pedantic about the EXACT size of your NBSP! For one thing, people have been using typescript for so long, such niceties of typography have been relaxed, and also, in almost any fully-justified text, the width of even this space is very likely to have been changed at various points.

For the record, the true width of a narrow space is normally 1/5 em (and not 1/6 as you stated).

What I do is use a place-holder while working (some wildcard character unlikely to occur elsewhere in my document), and then at the end do a 'search-&-replace all' for that character, using the 'specials' to create the NBSP, and using the font size to make it as thin as feasible — the minimu size of 5pt is usually OK for body text in Word, though to make it even thinner, you can alo add the super/subscript attribute (I think this works, but haven't checked)

Of course, if your document has many large font size differences, this gets messy, but most times, NBSPs don't appear in headings, for example, which are the most likely to be in larger sizes. And as for smaller sizes, it's arguable that the space size should be increased slightly anyway for better legibility.


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Marta Fernandez-Suarez  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:06
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
wildcards are definitively practical in this case Oct 31, 2006

Tony -Dusty- wrote:

I don't think you really need to be quite so pedantic about the EXACT size of your NBSP!


Hi Tony

There is no need to get personal. Besides, you are asuming a lot. I did say before that I gather this space is not often used anyway.

For your information, I asked the question for three reasons:

- someone asked it to me and I did not know what to answer

- I saw in some style guides (two Spanish + the Interinstitutional Style Guide of the EU) that it is recommended in some cases. In the Interinstitutional guide the reason given is to avoid having to format each language version at the last stage

- I would like to know what to do/how to do it, in case a customer ever asks me to

Tony -Dusty- wrote:
For the record, the true width of a narrow space is normally 1/5 em (and not 1/6 as you stated).


Says who? I mentioned where I saw that the space is 1.6, you say it is less but you do not say where you found out the size.

Anyway, thanks for trying to help. I think your option of using a wildcard is great!

Best wishes,

Marta


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:06
Member
French to English
+ ...
Don't be so (over) sensitive, Marta! Nov 1, 2006

Marta Fernandez-Suarez wrote:
There is no need to get personal. Besides, you are asuming a lot.


Oh dear, Marta, you really mustn't be so sensitive about things!

There was really absolutely nothing personal at all in my remark, and nothing could have been further from my mind!

Indeed, I think your question is both interesting and important!

All I was trying to suggest, on the basis of many years professional experience, is that there is no need to worry quite so much about the niceties of detail involved here, unless, of course, you are working at the top end of expert typography.

As regards the question of a thin space being 1/5 em, I rather resent your clumsy "who says?" -- the answer is, it is standard practicein traditional (i.e. metal type) typography, in which I was involved for many years. If you start using terms like 'thin space' and 'em', it is only reasonable to assume your are referring to traditional typography, since electronic DTP tends to use different terms to express things.

For information, the standard space sizes for body text setting in traditional typography as I have been involved in it in the UK are 'em' [square of size of type body], 'en' [halfbody width], and then third, quarter and fifth em widths.

I have come across various usages, but the one I am most familiar with is to refer to the third as 'thick' and the quarter as 'thin', with the fifth being referred to as 'hairline'; however, I have seen other arrangement used as well.

Note that in traditional typography, the 'standard' space ws the third-em width, and NOT the en space, as is commonly applied in word-processing / DTP. Hence why I say that the precise width of the space used is probably of less ppractical importance than the fact of maintaining a differentiation in width between spaces being used for different purposes.

(BTW, Marta, 1/5 is actually MORE than 1/6, not less! And I didn't need to "get" it from anywhere, it comes from my own personal, professional experience of traditional typography)

[Edited at 2006-11-01 22:58]


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Marta Fernandez-Suarez  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:06
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
would rather just stick to the spaces Nov 2, 2006

Hi

I really do not want to get into a discussion about the use of two adjectives you have chosen in your previous two postings. I just repeat that there was no need for them. I am not oversensitive about things (if anyone must know...), it is this point I have an issue with. There is so much you can convey in a forum thread. In a forum, one should avoid words that can be misunderstood because:

- there are lots of elements that convey information in a one-to-one conversation that are just simply missing in a written conversation
- this is not just a conversation between two people, but anyone can read it


After stating the obvious, I guess I'll have to clarify two things:
- about the 1.6, I meant "(one decimal) less"
- it was not me who said that that was the size for a thin space, it was the sources I mentioned
- in case this "clumsy" business intended to point out a mistake in my usage of the English language, please notice that the correct way of phrasing it is how I did it ("says who?"), not the other way round ("who says?")

Anyway, I really do not have the time for this.

Thanks anyway for the technical advice.

Regards,

Marta

[Edited at 2006-11-02 11:16]


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:06
Member
French to English
+ ...
I don't know what you're talking about Nov 2, 2006

Marta Fernandez-Suarez wrote:

I really do not want to get into a discussion about the use of two adjectives you have chosen in your previous two postings.

- about the 1.6, I meant "(one decimal) less"


I really don't know what on earth you're talking about; I made a perfectly sensible answer to your post, I can't even work out what 2 adjectives you're referring to?

Not quite sure I follow your comment above about the decimal? Sorry, but I took your 1.6 to be an alternative way of writing 1/6, since I can't see any relation between 1 decimal 6 and 1/5th.


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