I just upgraded to Word 2013, and I'm trying to find/replace all instances of multiple spaces in a document with single spaces (like this). (I'm doing proofreading/typesetting work, where it's critical that there not be extra spaces between words.) In my previous version of Word, typing each instance into Find/Replace and replacing all worked fine, but for some reason Word isn't recognizing that any double spaces exist when they clearly do in the document (ended up catching a lot of them manually.) Is there a workaround for this?

  • Turn on formatting marks and inspect what the spaces are really made of. Maybe they are non breaking spaces you are looking at? – Adam Dec 11 '13 at 13:36

If you don't come across any non-breaking spaces (per Adam), try using spell check if you haven't already. That's what I always use to eliminate extra spaces between words.


If you are using track changes (whether or not you are displaying the changes), this may cause Word to ignore the extra spaces. To test whether this is the issue, save a copy of the document, accept all the changes, then try to search on "space space" (press the space bar twice) and replace with "space" (press the space bar once). If you don't have any special issues in your document (formatting that involves multiple spaces), you can "replace all." This should address the issue. I noticed this in Word 2010 when I was reviewing a coworker's document. I could manually delete extra spaces when I was editing with his changes hidden, but could NOT get Word to detect the extra spaces in the usual manner. I know it's hopeless to try to fix spacing when viewing track changes, but I did not realize until today that hidden-but-tracked changes will also seemingly disable Word's ability to detect multiple spaces between words or between sentences.


Under Options, then Proofreading, Settings, go to Grammar and check the box "Spacing" and Word will catch those extra spaces.

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