How to Add Two Spaces After Period in Word 2013: Step-by-Step Guide

Adding two spaces after a period in Word 2013 is easy. Open your Word document, and click on the ‘File’ tab. Choose ‘Options’ from the dropdown menu, and in the pop-up window, select ‘Proofing.’ Click on ‘Settings’ next to ‘Writing Style,’ and under ‘Spacing,’ check the box for ‘Space After Period.’ Choose ‘2’ from the dropdown menu, then click ‘OK’ to apply the changes.

Once you complete this action, every time you press the period key, Word will automatically insert two spaces instead of one. This setting will apply to the entire document, ensuring consistency throughout.


Ah, the age-old debate: one space or two spaces after a period? While the modern standard leans towards a single space, there are still many sticklers for the double-space rule. If you’re a fan of the latter, or you’re preparing a document that requires this formatting, Microsoft Word 2013 has got you covered.

The use of two spaces after a period can be traced back to the days of typewriters when monospaced fonts made it challenging to distinguish the end of a sentence. Today, with the advent of proportionally spaced fonts, one space has become the norm. However, certain style guides, particularly in legal, academic, and literary fields, still prescribe or prefer two spaces for clarity and tradition. Understanding how to adjust this setting in Word 2013 is particularly relevant for students, writers, and professionals adhering to specific formatting guidelines.

Step by Step Tutorial on Adding Two Spaces After Period in Word 2013

The following steps will guide you through the process of setting up your Word 2013 document to automatically insert two spaces after a period.

Step 1: Open the ‘Proofing’ Options

Select ‘File’ then ‘Options’, and in the Word Options dialog box, click on ‘Proofing.’

The ‘Proofing’ tab is where you can find most of the settings related to grammar and spelling checks in Word. It is the gateway to customizing how Word interacts with your writing.

Step 2: Access ‘Settings’ for ‘Writing Style’

Click on ‘Settings’ next to the ‘Writing Style’ option.

In the settings window, you will find a host of options that allow you to tailor Word’s grammar and style checks to your preferences, including the option to change the space after a period.

Step 3: Adjust the ‘Space After Period’ Setting

Under the ‘Require’ section, find ‘Space After Period’ and check the box. Select ‘2’ from the dropdown menu.

By checking this box and selecting ‘2,’ you are instructing Word to recognize and implement the use of two spaces after each period as part of its grammar checking functionality.


Improved ReadabilityFor documents where clarity is paramount, having two spaces after a period can improve readability, especially in print.
Adherence to GuidelinesCertain style guides require two spaces after a period, so this setting allows you to comply without manually inserting extra spaces.
ConsistencyApplying this setting ensures consistent spacing throughout your document, eliminating the risk of irregularities that could occur when spacing manually.


Outdated PracticeUsing two spaces is often seen as outdated, and most modern style guides recommend one space, making this setting less relevant for general use.
IncompatibilityNot all fonts or digital platforms display the double-space formatting correctly, which could lead to inconsistency in how your document appears across different media.
Reduced EfficiencyHaving to adjust settings for something as minute as spacing after a period can be seen as an unnecessary step that hinders writing efficiency.

Additional Information

When working with Word 2013, knowing how to customize the space after a period can be a real time-saver. However, it’s essential to understand that this setting may not always carry over when the document is transferred to other software or platforms. For example, if you convert your Word document to a PDF or an HTML file, the double-space formatting may not be preserved. Therefore, it’s crucial to always double-check your document’s appearance in its final form before publishing or submitting it.

Another point to consider is that while double spacing after a period may be a requirement for some, it can be a hard habit to break for others who are used to typing two spaces by default. If you find yourself in the latter category, it might be worthwhile to train yourself to use a single space, as this is becoming the widely accepted practice.

Lastly, don’t forget to use the ‘Find and Replace’ feature in Word if you need to correct spacing in an existing document. You’d simply search for a period followed by a single space and replace it with a period followed by two spaces—Word does the rest for you!


  1. Open ‘Proofing’ options.
  2. Access ‘Settings’ for ‘Writing Style.’
  3. Adjust ‘Space After Period’ setting.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the default setting for space after a period in Word 2013?

The default setting in Word 2013 is one space after a period.

Will changing the spacing affect my existing text?

Yes, once you apply the change, Word will flag single spaces after periods as errors, which you can then correct.

Can I apply this setting to only part of my document?

No, the setting applies to the entire document, but you can use ‘Find and Replace’ to make selective changes.

Does this setting apply to other punctuation marks?

No, this setting specifically applies to periods.

Will the setting persist if I open the document in a different version of Word?

The setting should carry over, but always double-check your formatting when switching between Word versions.


In the digital age, the two-space rule after a period might seem like a relic of the past, but as we’ve seen, it has its place and purpose. Knowing how to add two spaces after a period in Word 2013 can be a handy skill for those who require it for professional or academic reasons. While some may scoff at the extra space as antiquated, for others, it’s a mark of precision and adherence to tradition.

Remember, the key is consistency and clarity. Whether you’re a double-spacer by conviction or by necessity, Word 2013 makes it easy to align your formatting with your preferred style. So go ahead, set up your document, and type away—those two spaces will follow your period like loyal ducks in a row.

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