Here’s a quick tip that comes in handy for computer-typing in general and Twitter in particular (it saves you two characters).
When you’re typing an ellipsis (three dots indicating an omission), instead of typing all three dots, type it as a single character by using the following keyboard shortcuts:
Mac OS ellipsis: OPTION + semicolon
Windows ellipsis: ALT + 0133
Note: your Mac keyboard might say “alt” instead of “option” (mine does).
Here’s a 3-dot ellipsis: … and here’s a single-character one: … (they should look slightly different – do they?).
Apple provides a list of keyboard shortcuts here. It doesn’t include this one, which I discovered from The Non-Designer’s Type Book, by Robin Williams. Who now contributes to the Peachpit Commons Blog (yay!), with John Tollett (their blog is Design Think). According to Robin, the single-character ellipsis is not ideal in typographical terms — the dots are too tightly spaced.
Matthew Butterick also discusses ellipses on his Typography for Lawyers site (featured in Sunday’s post on Internet Gems). Check out the comments too — it’s amazing the amount of discussion three wee dots can trigger.
If you end a sentence with an ellipsis remember to add a full stop (period) as well.
By Marian Dougan