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From time to time I want to insert a skip between two specific paragraphs (at the end of a thought). My first shot was to simply insert a \vspace but the indentation still bothered me.

So what I came up with in the end was a new command:

\newcommand{\parspace}{\vspace*{\baselineskip}\noindent}

With this I can add it wherever I want and have a break in the text.

However, it doesn't feel very elegant. Is there a better way to perform the same action?

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I don't think this is an inelegant solution. It does exactly what you want and it does it fairly simply. What more could you ask for? –  Seamus May 19 '11 at 10:40
    
Do you want it after every paragraph or only ones that you manually specify? –  benregn May 19 '11 at 18:32
    
Only after manually specified paragraphs. Generally I want to keep the preset intendation policy. –  Dan Soap Jun 3 '11 at 20:09
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3 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted
\documentclass{article}
\newcommand\parspace[1][\bigskip]{\par#1\noindent\ignorespaces}
\begin{document}
foo
\parspace
bar
\parspace[\medskip]
baz
\end{document}
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In some cases it can be useful to space two paragraphs, but it's questionable that the second one hasn't its indentation. So

... end of a paragraph.

\medskip % or \bigskip

Start of a new one ...

should be sufficient. A paragraph should be unindented only if it has a title or (by stylistic choice) if it immediately follows a title.

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1  
I don’t agree with this assessment. The indentation is to visually distinguish a paragraph from its predecessor. If there’s a clear, big space before it, the indentation becomes redundant and undesirable. This is the general rule that you will find in most books. In fact, I can’t remember a single exception. –  Konrad Rudolph May 19 '11 at 12:31
    
@Konrad: it probably depends on national typographic traditions. Or on bad typography, who knows? :) –  egreg May 19 '11 at 16:16
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If they are two different paragraphs the indention should appear as normal. The indention can be disabled globally by setting the length \parindent to 0pt. You can use the parskip package to add a separation between all paragraphs. You can also add more space between two lines by using the optional argument of \\, e.g. like \\[\baselineskip].

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I didn't want to change the overall layout of my document, I just wanted to insert a space between two specific paragraphs. –  Dan Soap May 19 '11 at 16:08
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