EDIT ME — Formatting Blunders

quote mark


In the days before 1992, we actually had typing class in school. Unfortunately, a couple things we were taught no longer apply to modern formats.

What are they?

1. two spaces after a period — It took me a long time not to do the double-slam with my thumb on the space bar. After some concentration that may have driven me to the chocolate stash, I relearned how to type using 1 space after a sentence.

2. tab — Too many people are guilty of this. Don’t tell me you aren’t, because I look at your manuscripts and they are fubar’d. To indent, DO NOT HIT THE TAB.

Proper way: go into your settings and find the paragraph indentation. Set it to whatever number floats your boat. But remember the norm is 0.5″

If you’re a guilty party and just cannot stop committing these heinous formatting sins, here’s how to fix them after you’ve finished the book:



1. go to find/replace

2. in the find section, create 2 spaces

3. in the replace section, place 1 space

4. apply and VOILA! You are now a 1-space author! Congrats!



1. go to find/replace

2. in the find section, type ^t

3. in the replace section, type nothing. Make sure there isn’t even a space there.

4. All your indentations are now gone.

5. Do CTRL+A to select all

6. If using MS Word, in the HOME tab, there is a spot called PARAGRAPH

7. Find the teensy-weensy arrow in the bottom right of that box and click it open


9. Set your BY setting by 0.5 in most cases

10. Click OK


Congrats! You are a modern author! Your publisher will thank you. Your readers will thank you because your e-book formatting isn’t wonky. You are a god/goddess!


Thanks for reading,



2 comments on “EDIT ME — Formatting Blunders

  1. Well I know I am guilty of writing that way…I took typing in school & it was taught to us exactly as you describe above…LOL. I hope I can try to remember to write the more modern way. At least your proper way of doing it is easy to follow. (Not a writer but I am sure it can’t hurt to do it the right way).

  2. There is a difference between typing and writing. I’ve never had a typing class and usually don’t type all that fast, although I’ve been a successful technical writer. I recommend that you get yourself a copy of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style and read it. There are other style guides out there, but Elements of Style is very easy to work with and understand. It’s helpful for anyone who uses writing to communicate, even if all you’re doing is writing an email or posting a comment.

    Disclaimer: Of course, since I’m making this comment, I cannot find my own copy, because we’re still unpacking from our recent move. “So it goes” Kurt Vonnegut in just about everything he’s ever written.

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