How to add 2 spaces after a period in Word

It may seem logical to have two spaces after a word to denote the beginning of a new sentence. Why? It helps to combat the natural tendency of collapsing all the texts into unspaced line of characters. Also, one-spaced writing type has a uniform appearance and two spaces between sentences can break up the monotonous form of reading and make the texts easier to read.

Unfortunately, Microsoft Word cannot automatically add two spaces after a period or adjust typing for spacing you prefer as in WordPerfect but it can be achieved with a bit of work. Microsoft Word can however, be configured to change the Spelling & Grammar settings to add two spaces after the each sentence and match your preference. Here’s how to do it!

Add 2 spaces after a period in Word

Go to Microsoft Word and click the ‘File’ tab.

From the list of options displayed, chose ‘Options’.

Add 2 spaces after period in Word

When presented with the ‘Word Options’ dialog box, click ‘Proofing’ in the list of items on the left.


Later, under the ‘When correcting spelling and grammar in Word‘ section, hit the ‘Settings’ button adjacent to the ‘Writing Style’ drop-down list on the right side.

writing style

When the ‘Grammar Settings’ dialog box displays, select “2” from the “Spaces required between sentences” drop-down list under the ‘Require’ section. Click “OK” to accept the change and close the dialog box.

grammar settings

Click “OK” on the “Word Options” dialog box to close it.

All done! Word 2013 will now flag each occurrence of a single space after a period.

As mentioned earlier, there’s no default setting that can automatically insert 2 spaces after each period (at the end of a sentence) but this trick should help users who are in the habit of writing a lot of college papers with  the standard APA writing style that requires/mandates 2 spaces be inserted at the end of every sentence.

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The author Hemant Saxena is a post-graduate in bio-technology and has an immense interest in following Windows, Office and other technology developments. Quiet by nature, he is an avid Lacrosse player. Creating a System Restore Point first before installing a new software, and being careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware is recommended.


  1. Phil S Stein

    As a corporate communications specialist I feel it worth pointing out that double spaces between sentences has, for decades, been considered an outdated style.

  2. Hemant saxena

    Quite honestly, there are a handful of good reasons to do
    such spacing, and equally good reasons to not do it. When using a monospaced
    font, everything is the same width. So, it makes sense to type two spaces after
    a period at the end of a sentence to create a visual break. Well, it’s a user’s
    call. The thought just crossed my mind and I ended up with a
    tutorial on it.

  3. Ben

    do you know how to do this in word 16 as there doesn’t seem to be that option any more

  4. Paul

    I have the same question

  5. Ditto. Same issue. The option is gone and they’ve changed the Word Options Grammar Settings interface. Word 2016.

  6. John_Sydney

    Of course, a quick and easy solution on a document-by-document basis (or through scripting in Word if you know how) is a simple search&replace: use ctr-h, then in the search box type . [period-space], then in the replace box type . [period-space-space] and change all.

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