wordfast cleanup makes two spaces after sentence period
Thread poster: barry fay

barry fay  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:36
German to English
Oct 25, 2013

How can I set the wordfast cleanup to only make one space after a sentence ending period. I assume this can be changed?

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Mark Hamlen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:36
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
Quite easy Oct 26, 2013

In WFC under Setup/General use this statement:

Insert the following character(s) after segments={space}

But this happens as you move from segment to segment, not in the cleanup process.

[Edited at 2013-10-26 07:42 GMT]

Oops, I misunderstood... I thought you wanted to add a space. You'd probably have to do a search and replace, search for period two spaces and replace with period one space.

But in English, I really believe there should be two spaces after sentences. It's traditional.

[Edited at 2013-10-26 09:58 GMT]


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:36
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not an issue Oct 26, 2013

Like many others of my generation, I still prefer the old-fashioned standard double space after a full stop, despite all efforts to convince me to the contrary. These little idosyncracies are part of what make English stand out IMHO.

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B D Finch  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:36
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Not our choice Oct 26, 2013

Slightly off-topic, but I don't think that we should impose our preference for double spaces (for those of us who do prefer that format), on the client. Usually, the more modern style of a single space after the full stop has taken over, especially in business.

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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:36
Member
French to English
+ ...
Typographic aberration! Oct 26, 2013

neilmac wrote:

... I still prefer the old-fashioned standard double space after a full stop...


I don't know quite which generation your are from Neil, but certainly when I learnt to type in the UK, we were NOT taught to put a double space after a full stop. I have always observed this and assumed it to be a purely American thing, on the basis of the source documents I receive.

Mark Hamlen wrote:But in English, I really believe there should be two spaces after sentences. It's traditional.


So I don't think one can really refer to it as "standard" or "traditional" — it was a convention adopted because of the limitations of monospaced typewriters, which were unable to reproduce different widths of spaces 1/5, 1/4, 1/3 em, and en (= ½ em) as used in 'conventional' typography. So a double space was used to mimic the slightly thicker (= wider!) that would normally have been used after a full stop.

However, now that computer word processing has freed us from that limitation, with variable-width fonts + proper full justification, I really see no reason to cling to this archaic convention. Just as we no longer have to type everything in Courrier, nor restrict ourselves to underline as the only form of emphasis...

If one really wanted to be fussy, one might use a non-breaking space following a full stop, so that even when justified, the space will always remain the same width. However, I don't personally think this guarantees a more typographically pleasing result, so I prefer to handle this manually on a case-by-case basis.


[Edited at 2013-10-26 16:34 GMT]


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:36
Member
French to English
+ ...
OP's original request Oct 26, 2013

Your original request is slightly odd: Wordfast does not normally add an extra space of its own accord, so do you perhaps have this setting accidentally modified as mentioned above?

Or are you suggesting that the original doc may have already had double spaces? If so, I'd certainly do a 'search-&-replace all' before starting my translation session.

If I have any doubts about a document, I usually as a matter of course run a 'search-&-replace all' looking for 2 spaces and repalcing with 1 space — it's important to repeat this process several times, until it reports '0 items have been replaced', when you know all occurrences have been found. This will of course mess up any formatting that may have (incorrectly!) employed multiple spaces to position text (instead of tabs etc.), but such instances are usually pretty visible, and better corrected anyway!


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barry fay  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:36
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
thanks for quick response - still wondering though Oct 26, 2013

Thanks to everyone for the responses. The "find and replace" solution is of course satisfactory although I would still like to know how or where "preferences" can be found and changed for wordfast. I did go to "set up - general" and saw fairly cryptic instructions but saw no way to get into the window to add the "instruction" recommended by Mark Hamlen (luckily, as he edited the entry later!) - also, of course, there was nothing about spaces after periods. The original doc is in German with the usual single space after period. It is only after I "quick clean" the finished translation that the double spaces appear. They, by the way, are definitely an American thing - that was how I was taught to type way back when and I had to unlearn it when I moved to Berlin - I too like it better! (ethnocentrism!).
Anyway thanks again!


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:36
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
"Traditional" double spaces Oct 28, 2013

I was taught to put in a double space after periods when I was taught how to type back in the 1980s.

I am now of the opinion that word processors have changed this convention. If you put in that extra space sometimes it might look like there is too much distance between the period and the start of the next sentence.

Your word processor will do the work for you and make it nice without the extra keystroke.


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Amel Abdullah  Identity Verified
Jordan
Arabic to English
+ ...
Things have changed... Oct 28, 2013

I, too, was taught to use double spaces after a period, but that was more than 20 years ago, when we were still using typewriters. The convention has changed, and one space is now the preferred norm in most circumstances. As an editor who has worked with various magazines and publishing houses, I find it very annoying when an author insists on using double spaces, even when instructed to do otherwise. These double spaces have to be fixed by the person in charge of editing or layout, so you are really just creating extra work for someone who is probably very busy with other things as well. In short, use double spaces if requested, but don't impose your will on your clients.

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Mark Hamlen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:36
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
Interesting Oct 28, 2013

I had no idea that the convention had changed. I just checked the MLA and even they say they prefer one space now. Live and learn....

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