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I'm using the template http://www.latextemplates.com/template/masters-doctoral-thesis, which I think is great. However, this template has somehow been set up to make bigger line spacing instead of indenting paragraphs, and I can't figure out how. I would like to go back to indenting and not line spacing. Does someone know how to change this?

Note: There are some \parskip and \parindent commands in the .cls file, but they seem to be for special sections of the paper.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

The class indeed sets zero parindent and a nonzero parskip. Moreover it uses vmargin which is known to be incompatible with some packages, notably atbegshi which is used by various others.

I suggest you to modify it, changing lines from 66 to 89; here's the original (with line numbers for reference):

 66 \usepackage{setspace}
 67 \onehalfspacing
 68 \setlength{\parindent}{0pt}
 69 \setlength{\parskip}{2.0ex plus0.5ex minus0.2ex}
 70 \usepackage{vmargin}
 71 %----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 72 %       MARGINS
 73 %----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 74 \setmarginsrb  { 1.5in}  % left margin
 75                         { 0.6in}  % top margin
 76                         { 1.0in}  % right margin
 77                         { 0.8in}  % bottom margin
 78                         {  20pt}  % head height
 79                         {0.25in}  % head sep
 80                         {   9pt}  % foot height
 81                         { 0.3in}  % foot sep
 82 %----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 83 \raggedbottom
 84 \setlength{\topskip}{1\topskip \@plus 5\p@}
 85 \doublehyphendemerits=10000       % No consecutive line hyphens.
 86 \brokenpenalty=10000              % No broken words across columns/pages.
 87 \widowpenalty=9999                % Almost no widows at bottom of page.
 88 \clubpenalty=9999                 % Almost no orphans at top of page.
 89 \interfootnotelinepenalty=9999    % Almost never break footnotes.

Here's the modified code

%%% Uncomment the following two lines if you really want doublespacing


\doublehyphendemerits=10000       % No consecutive line hyphens.
\brokenpenalty=10000              % No broken words across columns/pages.
\widowpenalty=9999                % Almost no widows at bottom of page.
\clubpenalty=9999                 % Almost no orphans at top of page.
\@clubpenalty=9999                % Almost no orphans at top of page.
\interfootnotelinepenalty=9999    % Almost never break footnotes.


  1. Double spacing is bad, avoid it if you can.

  2. vmargin is not to be used.

  3. Setting a flexible \topskip is a quite bad idea.

  4. The final settings of the penalty parameters may seem a good idea, but it's not. However, I didn't touch them, except adding the setting of \@clubpenalty, which is the real parameter in LaTeX for controlling orphan lines.

  5. \raggedbottom in a twosided document is not recommendable.

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