Non-breaking space - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In computer-based text processing and digital typesetting, a non-breaking space or no-break space (NBSP) is a variant of the space character that prevents an automatic line break (line wrap) at its position. It is also known as a hard space or fixed space.
The difference between an NBSP and a normal space is that, when a string including the NBSP comes at the end of the line, and is too long to fit, it will move the whole string to the next line (including the strings that the NBSP connects to). This is analogous to how normal strings wrap. For example, the string "ambidextrously" will never be "broken", and neither will the string "am bi dextrous ly" when the spaces are nonbreaking.
Use as non-collapsing whitespace
A second common application of the NBSP characters is in plain text file formats for word processing applications (e.g., SGML, HTML, TeX, LaTeX) that treat sequences of white-space characters (such as space, newline, tabulator, form feed, etc.) exactly as if they were a single character. Such collapsing of whitespace allows the author of the plain text file to neatly arrange the text in this form (e.g., by line breaks and indentation), without affecting the typeset result of the line-breaking algorithm.
The no-break space character is not merged with any other neighboring whitespace characters in such applications, and can therefore be used by an author to explicitly insert additional visible space in the formatted text.
Some people decry the use of NBSP for creating non-blanking space. They suggest alternatives, of which the Unicode space characters are perhaps closest to the NBSP mechanism.
will create an "en space". Here are two xs with an en space between them: x x.
will create an "em space". Here are two xs with an em space between them: x x.
Unicodes 8196-8202 provide a range of other spaces, but they don't move from narrowest to widest across that range of Unicodes.
In Unicode and ISO/IEC 10646, NBSP is U+00A0.
In ISO/IEC 8859, NBSP is 0xA0.
In KOI8-R, NBSP is 0x9A.
In EBCDIC, it is 0x41.
In CP437 and CP850, NBSP is 0xFF.
In SGML and HTML, the character entity reference or the numeric character references or represent NBSP.
In Wikitext, the character entity reference often represents NBSP.
In TeX, a tilde (~) is used to denote the hard space.
In ASCII, there is no non-breaking space.
Keyboard entry methods
None of the existing national or international standards on keyboard layouts currently define an input method for the NBSP character. Therefore, the authors of keyboard drivers or application programs (e.g., word processors) had to invent their own keyboard shortcuts. For example:
OPTION+SPACE: Mac OS
ALT+0160: Microsoft Windows
COMPOSE, SPACE, SPACE: X11
CTRL+K N S: vim (see vim digraphs)
CTRL+SHIFT+SPACE: Microsoft Word, Dreamweaver
CTRL+SPACE: WordPerfect, OpenOffice.org
Insert | Symbol dialog box (Latin-1 subset, after ~): many office applications