# paragraph design and single lines

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.

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.

-
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
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. :)