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How can I make the item labels of a description environment start with a paragraph indent? I mean that they should be indented like this:

\documentclass{article}

\begin{document}

\newlength{\trueparindent}
\setlength{\trueparindent}{\parindent}

The paragraph before the description.
\begin{description}
\item[\hspace*{\trueparindent}The first description label.]Some text. Some text. Some text. Some text. Some text.
\item[\hspace*{\trueparindent}The second description label.]Some text. Some text. Some text. Some text. Some text.
\end{description}

\end{document}

(If you just use \hspace*{\parindent} in the description above, you don't get any indentation.) I assume there's a way to do this without putting an \hspace* before each label as I did.

I can use the enumitem package, so it's fine to give me an answer that requires it.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Here are 3 solutions (same label indent and different left margins:

        \documentclass{article}

        \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
        \usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
        \usepackage{lmodern}

        \usepackage{enumitem}
        \usepackage{lipsum}

        \begin{document}

        \newlength{\trueparindent}
        \setlength{\trueparindent}{\parindent}

        \lipsum[1]

        With the default left margin:

        \begin{description}[labelindent = \parindent]
        \item[The first description label.]Some text. Some text. Some text. Some text. Some text.
        \item[The second description label.]Some text. Some text. Some text. Some text. Some text.
        \end{description}

        With the left margin aligned with the text margin:

        \begin{description}[labelindent = \parindent, leftmargin = 0em]
        \item[The first description label.]Some text. Some text. Some text. Some text. Some text.
        \item[The second description label.]Some text. Some text. Some text. Some text. Some text.
        \end{description}

        Label aligned with left margin:

        \begin{description}[labelindent = \parindent, leftmargin = \labelindent]
        \item[The first description label.]Some text. Some text. Some text. Some text. Some text.
        \item[The second description label.]Some text. Some text. Some text. Some text. Some text.
        \end{description}

        \end{document} 

And the results

Of course you can set one of these values globally, by writing in your preamble:
\setlist[description]{…}

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