Have you ever tried to type multiple spaces between sentences in a FrameMaker document and found yourself unable to do so? Have you ever wondered why you couldn't do it? I mean, you can do it in MS Word!
The answer is simple... "Because you shouldn't!"
Was that a bit harsh? Did you find that answer wanting? I was afraid you'd say that. If you took the time to read this far in my article, you are probably pretty determined to add extra spacing between your sentences.
Before I show you how to allow for this in FrameMaker, please take a moment to pick up any professionally typeset publication sitting within reach. (By "professionally typeset" I mean anything you paid money for: a book, newspaper, magazine and not a party invitation sent by your next door neighbor.) Look at the spaces between the sentences--how many do you see? I'm betting that there is just a single space. And you didn't even notice the spacing until you looked, right?
Typing a single space after punctuation is the standard for professionally typeset publications. The whole two-spaces-after-punctuation thing showed up as a response to the very hard to read Courier element that was standard on the IBM Selectric typewriter. Sadly, the generation that learned to type on a typewriter communicated that style to people learning how to type via word processors and they then demanded the same style from their page layout folks.
The FrameMaker team knew all of this and, in an effort to help you avoid this common error, they created a feature called "Smart Spaces." When it's on, you can press the spacebar all you like in FrameMaker, but you'll never get two spaces in a row. In my opinion, it's an awesome feature!
From my years in the classroom training, I know that this little discussion will convince most of my students to try to stop double spacing. But I also know that there are people out there who will look me straight in the eye and say, "but I want double spaces" (and the usually unspoken "and I don't want you or my computer to tell me what to do"). For them, I sigh quietly, and tell them to choose Format > Document > Text Options and deselect Smart Spaces.
If you are new to FrameMaker and want to get up to speed quickly, join IconLogic's instructor-led, online Introduction to Adobe FrameMaker 9 class. Too elementary for your skill level? How about the Advanced FrameMaker 9 class? Hope to "see" you there.
About the author: Barbara Binder is the president and founder of Rocky Mountain Training. Barbara has been a trainer for nearly two decades and has been recognized by Adobe as one of the top trainers world-wide.