Special Characters

Q. How do I insert an ellipsis in my manuscript? My computer keyboard can do that with a couple of keystrokes. Is this acceptable? Or should I type period + space for all three dots? Should these spaces be nonbreaking spaces?

A. For manuscripts, inserting an ellipsis character is a workable method, but it is not our preferred method. It is easy enough for a publisher to search for this unique character and replace it with the recommended three periods plus two nonbreaking spaces (. . .). But in addition to this extra step, there is also the potential for character-mapping problems (the ellipsis could appear as some other character) across software platforms—an added inconvenience. So type three spaced dots, like this . . . or, at the end of a grammatical sentence, like this. . . . If you know how, use two nonbreaking spaces to keep the three dots—or the last three of four—from breaking across a line.