The hardest nits to find are the invisible ones, and for that purpose 'Find and Replace' is a potent tool in some respects. The simple premise is that, to remove double spaces, for example, we 'find' them all and 'replace' them all with one space in a single action.
Of course, we have to run this process more than once to eradicate multiple spaces.
But Find and Replace is also great for removing hanging spaces between periods and paragraph returns, and, more importantly, hanging spaces at the beginning of paragraphs because they will not line up with other paragraphs, should any spaces exist.
Here is a paragraph with all of these nits, but they are tough to spot:
But if we use our pilcrow tool, all spaces are shown as centered dots:
Then here; remember, you'll have to click replace all a few times to make sure you have removed them all:
To remove hanging spaces between periods and paragraph returns, which can can cause extra page generation and other bugs when printed:
This is how it should look:
And to remove hanging spaces before the first word of a paragraph, we remove the space at the beginning of the 'Find' field and place a space after the paragraph mark:
And after these processes, the end result is a cleaner document with all the needles removed from the haystack with the minimum of fuss:
As you can see, if you're a spacebar indent junkie, you'll have to replace with proper indents: Just Select All (Ctrl+A) and click on Paragraph in your ribbon and set the indent for the whole MS - or you can Select All and slide the top ruler arrow to .5cm (or 1/4 inches - but keep the indent small) - that way you will only have to re-center your chapter headings and scene break symbols (See my Layout Tips page).
If you have used tab stops for indents you can remove all these ("Find" > "Special" > "Tab Character") (or in "Find" type: ^t) and replace with nothing in the "Replace" field then set the indent as described above.
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