Take the 2-minute tour ×
TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. It's 100% free, no registration required.

By default LaTeX will

  • not indent the first paragraph after a section heading
  • indent every following paragraph
  • not insert a space between paragraphs
\section{heading}
first paragraph which is not indented
second paragraph which is indented but no space in between the paragraphs

So far I like this behavior for longer paragraphs but sometimes there are only very short paragraphs (only one line) or kind of preceding lines before a listing. They become indented as well which sometimes looks very odd.

Heading

Very short first line

--Indented Line of a longer Paragraph. This is an example for a longer paragraph which becomes indented and fills more then only one line

--This is an example line being indented, looking odd:

  1. here comes an example listing

  2. announced by the odd-looking short indented line

Is there a way to have short single lines not automatically not indented but separated by blank lines?

UPDATE

That's the behaviour I would like. Indentation only for paragraphs which follow paragraphs. But by default even a paragraph after a table or listing is beeing indented.

from German Wikipedia

In modern books usually only paragraphs following paragraphs are indented. The first paragraph after a heading, after a blank line or other insertions--longer quotes, drawings, tables, listings etc.--starts flush left.

Further more I think single line paragraphs shouldn't be indented. The probably should be avoided or start flush left.

share|improve this question
1  
I'd say that "the remedy is worse than the disease". The indent conveys also a meaning; there should never be two different typographical devices that share the meaning. –  egreg Oct 3 '11 at 13:11
    
You would leave this single line in front of the listing indented? But then there's automatically a blank line before the listing. –  Sebastian Oct 3 '11 at 13:20
    
The vertical space before the list is a design decision by the class author. I'd say that a space before the line in front of it will be very misleading to the reader. What I would do depends on the text; most frequently the "one liner" can be left with the preceding paragraph (this may require editing the text). –  egreg Oct 3 '11 at 13:27
    
For the short paragraphs \setlength{\parskip}{\baselineskip} looks nice, but then the real paragraphs needn't to be indented anymore since they're separated by blank lines then as well. Well or I just use \ \`? Another thing I noticed: the minute I use \setlength{\parskip}{\baselineskip}` the spacing between section heading and first paragraph get's bigger then one line. Is there a way to avoid this? –  Sebastian Oct 3 '11 at 13:29

1 Answer 1

I think that's rather simple, use the parskip package, it will take care of that automatically as well as of a host of other (more intricate) spacing problems to have a visually appealing document. :)

share|improve this answer
2  
Jan Tschichold was a follower of "modernist typography" that advocated, among other things, the use of paragraph spacing instead of the indent. Later he changed his mind and wrote a paper about "why paragraph should be indented". –  egreg Oct 3 '11 at 13:16
    
@egreg you have a reference for Tschicold's change of mind? –  Yiannis Lazarides Oct 3 '11 at 14:02
    
@YiannisLazarides mantex.co.uk/2009/07/20/the-form-of-the-book –  egreg Oct 3 '11 at 14:09
    
@egreg thanks a lot. –  Yiannis Lazarides Oct 3 '11 at 15:57
    
Wow, crazy prices: $122 from Amazon, £122 from Amazon UK –  Brent.Longborough Oct 3 '11 at 19:44

Your Answer

 
discard

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.