I find some opinions about the rules for ellipses are conflicting. Here are some conflicting issues:
Q1: Are the spaces between the dots in a ellipsis necessary, i.e.
(Yes.) Grammar Girl's article
. . . for everyday purposes, it's fine to use regular spaces between the ellipsis points. Type period-space-period-space-period. Just make sure your dots don’t end up on two different lines.
Bringhurst writes that a full space between each dot is "another Victorian eccentricity. In most contexts, the Chicago ellipsis is much too wide"—he recommends using flush dots, or thin-spaced dots (up to one-fifth of an em), or the prefabricated ellipsis character.
(No.) My personal habit. I think typing
dot-dot-dotis more convenient; though I find it looks better to use the
dot-space-dot-space-dotstyle on this page :)
Q2: Normally an ellipsis should be spaced fore-and-aft to separate it from the text. So, when should the fore space or the aft space disappear?
Ellipses at the beginning and end of quotations
Aardvark said, “. . . Squiggly never caught a fish.”
Ellipses with question marks and exclamation points
“Where did he go? . . . Why did he go out again?” [Material is removed between the two sentences]
“Where did he go . . . ? Why did he go out again?” [Material is removed before the first question mark. Note the space between the last ellipsis point and the question mark.]
Ellipses with commas and semicolons
“Aardvark went home, . . . and Squiggly decided to meet him later.”
“Aardvark went home . . . ; Squiggly would meet him later.” [Note the space between the ellipsis and the semicolon.]
. . . when it combines with other punctuation, the leading space disappears and the other punctuation follows.
- i … j
i-(space)-(ellipsis)-(space)-j, the normal case.
- l…, l
- l, … l
- i … j
Katherine Fry & Rowena Kirton's grammar book: Grammar for Grown-Ups
. . . The only time there isn't a final space is when the ellipsis comes before a closing quote mark -- then the quote mark comes directly after dot 3, 'like . . .' this, 'not . . . ' this.
How numerous the conflicting rules are! I'm totally confused.
EDIT To state my question more clearly -- I need to write some software manuals in plain ASCII text. Can I just type ellipses choosing any style because there's no strict rule about that?