TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

When using XeLaTeX and babel "francais", I sometimes get weird spacing: e.g. \, makes a wider space than the regular space (see what happens on the second line here).


\setromanfont[Mapping=tex-text,Numbers={OldStyle},Ligatures={Common},Contextuals=Alternate]{Garamond Premier Pro}


\noindent (par exemple Z3 de Microsoft ou Yices de SRI)\,; ce dernier donne une solution qui correspond à une trace d'exécution menant de la précondition à une des postconditions dont on désire déterminer l'accessibilité (par exemple, des conditions d'erreur comme la division par zéro).
share|improve this question
Why do you use \, before ;? The babel option french/francais will already add space before ;. – Ulrike Fischer Jun 9 '11 at 9:35
Note: the standard way of calling frenchb is \usepackage[french]{babel} instead of \usepackage[francais]{babel} afaik. – ℝaphink Jun 9 '11 at 9:37
That's what's supposed to happen: French babel already puts a space before the semicolon and you don't need to add manually one. Consider adopting polyglossia. – egreg Jun 9 '11 at 9:43
up vote 2 down vote accepted

frenchb (French for babel) adds non-secable normal spaces before ;. For this reason, your \, is added to the space already added by babel (or maybe even just ignored and replaced by a normal non-secable space).

If you wish to prevent frenchb from adding spaces before ;, you can do:


after \begin{document} or


in your preamble.

share|improve this answer
\, adds a kern and the (active) semicolon "unskips", so the thin space \, is actually added to the space provided by ;, because \unskip doesn't do anything to kerns. However this space is not a normal interword space, but slightly smaller. A normal spaces is added in front of a colon. – egreg Jun 9 '11 at 9:52

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.