nonbreaking spaces

Prevent awkward breaks

Your word proces­sor assumes that a word space marks a safe place to flow text onto a new line or page. A non­break­ing space is the same width as a word space, but it pre­vents the text from flow­ing to a new line or page. It’s like invis­i­ble glue between the words on either side.

Put a non­break­ing space before any numeric or alpha­betic ref­er­ence to pre­vent awk­ward breaks. Recall this exam­ple from paragraph and section marks:

The defen­dant has the option under Civil Code §
1782 to offer a cor­rec­tion to affected buy­ers. But ¶
17 of the agree­ment sug­gests it is required.
wrong
The defen­dant has the option under Civil Code
§ 1782 to offer a cor­rec­tion to affected buy­ers. But
¶ 17 of the agree­ment sug­gests it is required.
right

In the top exam­ple, nor­mal word spaces come after the § and ¶ sym- bols, so the numeric ref­er­ences incor­rectly appear on the next line.

In the bot­tom exam­ple, non­break­ing spaces come after the § and ¶ sym­bols. This time, the sym­bols and the numeric ref­er­ences stay together.

Use non­break­ing spaces after other abbre­vi­ated ref­er­ence marks (Ex. A, Fig. 23), after copy­right sym­bols (see trademark and copyright symbols), and between the dots in Blue­book-com­pli­ant ellipses.

In cita­tions, use your judg­ment. In the cita­tion Fed. R. Evid. 702, you can put a non­break­ing space before the 702 so it won’t get sep­a­rated from Evid. But cer­tain cita­tion for­mats, like the Cal­i­for­nia Style Man­ual, don’t use spaces in the abbre­vi­ated name of the source (116 Cal.App.4th 602). In those cases, the non­break­ing space can cause more prob­lems than it solves because it cre­ates a large, unbreak­able chunk of char­ac­ters.