Typesetting conventions will
enhance the appearance
of all of your documents

Following typesetting conventions will enhance the appearance of all of your documents, but is essential if you want your book to look professionally designed.

All books use proportional type; not the monospaced type of typewriter days. The guidelines for using proportional fonts differ from the guideline for using a typewriter. Most of you have caught on to them by now, but let’s review them here because you want your book to look professional:

  • Use only one space between sentences or after a colon.
  • Use en and em dashes; do not use double hyphens.
  • Use real (curly) quotation marks and apostrophes.
  • Do not use curly quotes and apostrophes for inch and foot marks.
  • Don’t indent the first line of a paragraph that follows a heading or subheading.
  • Never more than two hyphens in a row.
  • Do not underline for emphasis; use bold or italics.
  • When you create an ellipsis, put a non-breaking space before, between, and after the periods.
  • Do not use the default .5" indent; Use the ruler to set a smaller indent.
  • Do not use the space bar to align text.
  • Do not justify short sentences.
  • Do not leave any widows or orphans.
  • Indent the first line of a paragraph, or add extra space between paragraphs, but do not do both.
  • Do not use a blank line to separate paragraphs. It is too much space in most cases; use the space after feature in paragraph formatting.

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