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How can I ger a line break after the label of a description environment item? I'd like to keep the indentation and the bold face for the item label, but I'd like to have the body of the item in a separate paragraph, because it starts with an itemize environment and indenting that looks really strange.

Adding \\ does not work (error message “no line to end here”), neither does a blank line or \par (no effect). Even \,\par has no effect.

Example:

\documentclass{article} \begin{document}

\begin{description}
\item[Animals:]
  \begin{itemize}
  \item Dog
  \item Cat
  \item Fish
  \end{itemize}
\item[Colors:]
  \begin{itemize}
  \item Red
  \item Green
  \item Blue
  \end{itemize}
\end{description}
\end{document}

It renders like this:

bad rendering

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The insertion of an empty item seems to give a better vertical spacing. One can define a myitemize environment that includes this empty item; that will prevent typing it for each description item:

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage{enumitem}

\newenvironment{myitemize}%
{\begin{itemize}\item[]}
{\end{itemize}}

\begin{document}

\begin{description}[style = sameline, leftmargin = 1em]
\item[Animals:]
  \begin{itemize}
  \item[]
  \item Dog
  \item Cat
  \item Fish
  \end{itemize}

\item[Colors:]
  \begin{myitemize}
  \item Red
  \item Green
  \item Blue
  \end{myitemize}
\end{description}

\end{document} 

enter image description here

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Adding \leavevmode also has the desired effect and looks reasonably clean.

\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}
\begin{description}
\item[Animals:]\leavevmode
  \begin{itemize}
  \item Dog
  \item Cat
  \item Fish
  \end{itemize}
\item[Colors:]\leavevmode
  \begin{itemize}
  \item Red
  \item Green
  \item Blue
  \end{itemize}
\end{description}
\end{document}

desired rendering

I came up with this answer while writing the question. When I started, \mbox{} was the best solution I had, and that felt sufficiently hackish that I wanted to look for a cleaner solution. Now I'm merely documenting my find.

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