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Does latex do anything special with periods? If so, is there a way to differentiate end-of-sentence periods from periods indicating abbreviation?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 43 down vote accepted

There is the issue of end of sentence space vs. space between words. By default the first one is bigger.

e.g. this and that\\
e.g.\ this and that

In the first line the space after the 2nd period is typset like an end of sentence space. In the second line the space after the 2nd period is typeset like a normal inter-word space.

You can setup with \frenchspacing that the end of sentence space is not different from the normal inter-word spacing.

An \@ before a period sets up end of sentence spacing. This is needed, if the sentence ends with a one capitial letter word.

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You can also use a ~ after a period in order to have non sentence spacing after a period. (You might want to do this if you write e.g. 'see p. 1'.) –  Tom Aug 24 '10 at 11:03
You can also put \@ after punctuation to enforce a regular sized space. –  Will Robertson Aug 24 '10 at 13:48
Not that in @Tom's suggestion ~ is a non-breaking space (a line will not break after the prefix in Dr.~Smith, for example). This may not be desired. –  Geoff Aug 24 '10 at 16:26
@Tom: A tilde ("~") produces a non-breaking space. Most of the times it's better to use "\ " which produces a normal regular sized space. –  StrawberryFieldsForever Jun 14 '12 at 11:38
I'd suggest using e.\,g.\ (cf. this comment, for example). –  nutty about natty Jun 22 at 4:49

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