Non-breaking space

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A protected space ( English no-break space , also non-breaking space , abbreviated NBSP , sometimes also referred to as permanent space) prevents an automatic line break at the position of the space , which could impair legibility and disrupt the flow of reading . The character emerged from the rules for line typesetting in typesetting when they were implemented for digital typography .

Digital typography

The non-breaking space is generated with the code in HTML source texts  . In the Unicode character set, it can be found at position U + 00A0 in the Unicode block Latin-1, supplement .

In addition to the usual protected space, the Unicode standard also has a narrow protected space ( English narrow no-break space , abbreviated NNBSP , position U + 202F,  ), a protected space without its own width (English zero width no-break space , Position U + FEFF, ), the empty digit (English figure space , position U + 2007) and the Mongolian vowel separator (English mongolian vowel separator , abbreviated MVS , position U + 180E), which largely corresponds to the NNBSP, but also influences can have the shape of the letters attached. The break behavior is described in the Unicode line break algorithm .


The protected spaces are defined and coded as follows:

International character encoding standard  Unicode
and encoding in the Internet document format HTML
character Unicode designation HTML
position designation hexadecimal decimal named
▕ ▏ U + 00A0 no-break space non-breaking space & # x00A0; & # 160; & nbsp;
▕ ▏ U + 202F narrow no-break space narrow non-breaking space & # x202F; & # 8239; -
▕ ▏ U + FEFF zero width no-break space protected space without its own width 1 & # xFEFF; & # 65279; -
▕ ▏ U + 2007 figure space empty digit 2 & # x2007; & # 8199; -
▕᠎▏ U + 180E Mongolian vowel separator Mongolian vowel separator & # x180E; & # 6158; -
1Obsolete, replaced by U + 2060 word joiner to distinguish BOM
2White space guarantees the same width as a table number with the same font

In ASCII - character set from 1963 no protected spaces are included, which is why many older computer systems they could not represent. Almost all modern computers use at least the ISO 8859 standard, which was introduced in 1987, and can therefore process and display at least the non-breaking space U + 00A0 without any problems.

Application examples

  • Between the salutation and the name of a person: "Prof. Dr. Examplehausen ”- Prof. Dr. Beispielhausen(  or  ) At least one would want to keep the two titles“ Prof. ”and“ Dr. ”together; just as a single title "Dr." with the surname. A separation between the group of several titles on the one hand and the last name on the other hand can be very useful; Constructs that are connected for too long are to be avoided, otherwise it would be separated in the middle of the last name. Otherwise, there will be an excessive gap in the right margin or justification with huge word spacing.
  • Between numerical value and unit of measurement : "44 mm" - 44 mm.
  • In abbreviations : “z. B. “- z. B.It is better to use a narrow protected space (“ e.g. ”- z. B.) here. For reasons of compatibility , however, it is usually not used as this character is not supported by all web browsers and fonts. Often the space is left out entirely instead, which is not correct according to DIN 5008 .
  • With special characters: "3 + 5" - 3 + 5and in certain constellations of punctuation marks such as "Example -" - Beispiel –.
  • Further examples:
    • "St. Ulrich "-St. Ulrich
    • "St. Afra "-Hl. Afra
    • "Ludwig II." - Ludwig II.
    • "Version 3" - Version 3
    • "14. Century "-14. Jahrhundert
    • "30. June "-30. Juni
    • "B 17" - B 17
    • "S. 18 ff. "-S. 18 ff.
    • "A 96" - A 96.

Representation on computer systems

Operating system, application
or standard 1
Non-breaking space () Narrow non-breaking space ()
Windows GUI ( CP1252 , standard) Alt+ 01602 Alt+ 82392
TUI ( CP850 , command prompt) Alt+ 2552 -
macOS +Leertaste -
X11 under z. B. Linux or BSD Compose, Leertaste,Leertaste -
AmigaOS Alt+Leertaste -
German standard keyboard layout T2
(standard for Germany and Austria)
Alt Gr+Leertaste Gruppenumschaltung+Leertaste
AbiWord Strg+ ⇧Shift+Leertaste -
Emacs Strg+ X, 8,Leertaste Strg+ X, 8, Eingabetaste, 2, 0, 2, F,Eingabetaste
Adobe FrameMaker Strg+Leertaste -
LibreOffice variants Strg+ Leertaste (before OOo 3)

Strg+ ⇧Shift+ Leertaste (from OOo 3)

Microsoft Word Keyboard shortcut Strg+ ⇧Shift+Leertaste -
Unicode input 5 A, 0, Alt+ COr A, 0, Alt+X 2, 0, 2, F, Alt+ COr 2, 0, 2, F, Alt+X
Neo Mod3+ ⇧Shift+ Leertasteor

Mod3+ , Leertaste, Leertaste3

Mod3+ Mod4+ Leertaste4
LaTeX  / plain TeX always ~ \thinspace6 7
additionally with LaTeX
outside of formulas
- \,8th
additionally in formulas - \mkern\thinmuskip, 9
Constructions in general Content from \hbox{...}or in LaTeX \mbox{...}is not broken, including spaces;

even better is \nolbreaks{...}from the package nolbreaks , so that all interword spaces of a line match

Construction in formulas The content of {...}is not broken, 10 including spaces
Vim Digraph 11 Strg+ K, ⇧Shift+NS -
Unicode input Strg+ V, U, 0, 0, A,0 Strg+ V, U, 2, 0, 2,F
WordPerfect Strg+Leertaste -
HTML HTML entity   -
construction Spaces in elements with CSS properties are not broken white-space:nowrap
XML / XHTML decimal    
ISO 8859-1 (Latin-1) (decimal) 160 -
Unicode (hexadecimal) U + 00A0 U + 202F
1Many operating systems and applications also offer specific options for entering a Unicode character directly .
2Enter numbers via the numeric keypad . Hold the Alt key down permanently.
3With the German QWERTZ keyboard layout , the Mod3 keys correspond to the caps lock or hash key. Compose support (Mod3 + Tab or ♫) must be installed on some systems .
4thWith the German QWERTZ keyboard layout , the Mod3 keys correspond to the caps lock or hash key. The Mod4 keys correspond to the larger / smaller (> / <) or Alt-Gr key.
5 Entering Unicode characters using the keyboard ( Memento from December 16, 2014 in the Internet Archive ): In dialog boxes, the key combination is ALT + X
; see also: The Unicode Character for the Specified Unicode Character Code (hexadecimal) , Using the Keyboard to Insert a Unicode Character Code into a Document, and Inserting Unicode Characters .
6thJohannes Braams and others: The LaTeX 2 ε Sources . (PDF, 2.3 MB;) June 27, 2011, p. 65.
7thDE Knuth: The TeXbook . Addison-Wesley, Reading 1984 and later, p. 352.
8th \,is essentially \ifmmode\mskip\thinmuskip\else\thinspace\fidefined as, see The LaTeX 2 ε Sources p. 65. Within a formula, it becomes \mskipsomething that creates glue and therefore allows a line break - The TeXbook , p. 290 and Chapter 12. Otherwise \thinspace, s. O.
9 The TeXbook pp. 280 and 167f. - however completely unusual.
10 The TeXbook , p. 173.
11Digraph support based on RFC 1354 in insert mode according to documentation .


In MS Word, the degree symbol (°) is used as the formatting symbol for the non-breaking space .

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Useful key combination: protected spaces in Word documents - Digital - Augsburger Allgemeine. In: Retrieved May 23, 2017 .