Special Characters

Q. Can I use the ellipsis character in my manuscript? Or do I need to use Chicago’s spaced periods?

A. Either way is OK as long as you’re consistent. If you use the ellipsis character, put a space before and after it … like that. At the end of a sentence, it follows a period and a space, like this. … If a comma or other punctuation follows, close it up to the ellipsis …, like that. A publisher (or copyeditor) following Chicago style can search for this special character (Unicode 2026) and replace it with Chicago’s spaced periods . . . like that or, at the end of a sentence, like this. . . . Where a comma, semicolon, colon, question mark, or exclamation point follows the ellipsis, it is preceded by a space, like this . . . ; an exception is made for marks that come in pairs, including a quotation mark, “like this . . .”—and a dash . . .—like that (and a parenthesis [or bracket], like this . . .). To keep each ellipsis (and any mark of punctuation that follows) on the same line, nonbreaking spaces will need to be applied for publication (as we’ve done here). An ellipsis can begin a new line, so there is no need to precede an ellipsis by a nonbreaking space.