# Should I use \\ to end a line or a paragraph? [duplicate]

This question already has an answer here:

I am somewhat confused as to how to approach the following issue.

In my thesis is have a lot of text and want to group this is using line breaks and paragraphs.

Up to now I have been using \\ to end a line and forcibly start a new line as such:

some text that is the end of the line want.\\
End than the next line starts at the line below. etc


Nothing to worry about.

However if i would like to have some white space ending a paragraph is use the \\ followed by a white line in my 'code'.

This produces the desired result, however i have lot of underfull vboxes when compiling. A. is this related to my use of the \\? B. What is the proper way to end/start a paragraph?

I have read about the \par command but i am not certain how to apply this...

I use the report documentclass and are going towards a 200 page document so i would like to get this right.

I tried to find the answer in existing posts but was not successful.

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## marked as duplicate by David Carlisle, Red, Kurt, Jake, barbara beetonOct 8 '13 at 13:20

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Have you read a starter guide to LaTeX? They will all tell you to separate paragraphs using a blank line, and never using \\. –  Joseph Wright Oct 8 '13 at 11:24
–  Marco Daniel Oct 8 '13 at 11:24
Also, if you want to separate paragraphs by blank lines look at the parskip package. (Traditional typography does not do this, using indents instead, but some people prefer blank 'lines'.) –  Joseph Wright Oct 8 '13 at 11:26
@JosephWright adding a blank line does not add the white space that i am looking for seperating the two paragraphs. So i will take a look at the parskip package. –  wierts Oct 8 '13 at 11:33
@wierts: The package parskip is only useful if you are using a standard document class. E.g. KOMA-classes are providing an extra parskip option. –  Marco Daniel Oct 8 '13 at 11:42

## 1 Answer

In plain text paragraphs in the input file should be separated by a blank line. To get space between a particular pair of paragraphs in the output you can use \smallskip, \medskip or \bigskip, or the alternatives \smallbreak, \medbreak, \bigbreak, that encourage a page break at such positions.

\documentclass{article}

\begin{document}

Hello, here is some text without a meaning.  This text should show
what a printed text will look like at this place. If you read this
text, you will get no information. Really? Is there no information?
Is there a difference between this text and some nonsense like
‘‘Huardest gefburn’’? Kjift -- not at all! A blind text like this
gives you information about the selected font, how the letters are
written and an impression of the look.

Hello, here is some text without a meaning.  This text should show
what a printed text will look like at this place. If you read this
text, you will get no information. Really? Is there no information?
Is there a difference between this text and some nonsense like
‘‘Huardest gefburn’’? Kjift -- not at all! A blind text like this
gives you information about the selected font, how the letters are
written and an impression of the look.

\medbreak
Hello, here is some text without a meaning.  This text should show
what a printed text will look like at this place. If you read this
text, you will get no information. Really? Is there no information?
Is there a difference between this text and some nonsense like
‘‘Huardest gefburn’’? Kjift -- not at all! A blind text like this
gives you information about the selected font, how the letters are
written and an impression of the look.

\end{document}


If you want spaces between all your paragraphs and no paragraph indent, then you can use the parskip package:

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage{parskip}

\begin{document}

Hello, here is some text without a meaning.  This text should show
what a printed text will look like at this place. If you read this
text, you will get no information. Really? Is there no information?
Is there a difference between this text and some nonsense like
‘‘Huardest gefburn’’? Kjift -- not at all! A blind text like this
gives you information about the selected font, how the letters are
written and an impression of the look.

Hello, here is some text without a meaning.  This text should show
what a printed text will look like at this place. If you read this
text, you will get no information. Really? Is there no information?
Is there a difference between this text and some nonsense like
‘‘Huardest gefburn’’? Kjift -- not at all! A blind text like this
gives you information about the selected font, how the letters are
written and an impression of the look.

\end{document}


Using \\ in plain text it is nearly always wrong, cf. When to use \par and when \\

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great explication –  wierts Oct 9 '13 at 11:08