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I am writing a proposal to the National Science Foundation, and they require no more than 6 lines in one-inch vertical spaces, with 11 pt sized Computer Modern fonts.

I am using the article document class, and playing around with


I was wondering if there is a way that I can make it sure that there are no more than 6 lines in one-inch vertical spaces, perhaps using something like \fontsize{10}{12}? There might be some ways to compute the font size and the maximum possible line spacing to make it sure no more than 6 lines.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

The first line occupies 11pt (the topskip); it remains to distribute five lines in 61.27pt. The normal baselineskip is 13.6pt.

(61.27/5)/13.6 = 0.901

Therefore \linespread{0.901} is what you need. If you use ten point size, you have to do nothing or say \linespread{1.03}; indeed 10+5*12=70 and 72.27/70=1.03.

The first line on a page is set so that its baseline is \topskip far from the upper margin of the area reserved for the text block. LaTeX sets the topskip equal to the main document size. Such a distance is used also in a \parbox or a minipage (from the imaginary upper end of the box).

Assuming that you're using a minipage for the text, the computation has to be done for five lines occupying 1in - topskip, in order to establish the fixed distance between consecutive baselines.

Yes: one inch is 72.27pt.

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Thanks. I would assume 1in=72.27pt. Could you explain more about the topskip? I didn't understand why you extracted 11pt in the first step. Are you calculating for 6 lines and 5 spaces? – Chang Jul 22 '11 at 16:14
Thanks for the update. If I \setlength{\topskip}{0mm}, then the right computation for 6 lines and 6 spaces would be simply (72.27/6)/13.6 = 0.885661765. Am I right? – Chang Jul 22 '11 at 16:29
I had one more question. If I would really need 6 lines and 5 spaces in one inch, how should I do? – Chang Jul 22 '11 at 16:33

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