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The KOMA classes do not use vertical inter-paragraph spacing with some good arguments (see page 50 of the scrguide).

I defined an environment for definitions with the amsthm package using their default style. This uses a bold label and then normal text the the definition body. However, if the definition is long and contains more than one paragraph, it is not clear whether the new paragraph belongs to the definition or marks the end of the definition and a new paragraph in the main text body.

Is there any typographically good solution for situations like this? I considered:

  • indenting the whole definition. This would look a bit strange on some pages, as I have pages filled mostly with definitions.
  • using vertical space above and below the definitions. This looks more or less ok to me, but it kind of breaks the no-vertical-spaces convention of KOMA that is used in the rest of the document.

What do you think?

EDIT: @lockstep already answered my question, but in case someone wants to see this, here are examples of what I was talking about:

With vertical space

With vertical space

And Indented

indented

Source code of the examples:

\documentclass{scrreprt}

\usepackage{lipsum}
\usepackage{amsthm}

\theoremstyle{definition}
\newtheorem{plaindefinition}{Definition}

\newtheoremstyle{definitionwithspace}% name
            {1ex}% Space above
            {1ex}% Space below
            {}% Body font
            {}% Indent amount
            {\bf}% definition head font
            {.}% Punctuation after definition head
            { }% Space after definition head ({ } is intentional: normal word space)
            {}% definition head spec (can be left empty, meaning 'normal')

\theoremstyle{definitionwithspace}
\newtheorem{spacedefinition}{Definition}

\begin{document}
\lipsum[1-2]
\begin{spacedefinition}
  \lipsum[3-4]
\end{spacedefinition}
\lipsum[5-6]
% Just a quick hack for this version
\hspace{.1\linewidth}
\begin{minipage}{.86\linewidth}
\begin{plaindefinition}
  \lipsum[7-8]
\end{plaindefinition}
\end{minipage}
\lipsum[9-10]
\end{document}
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Can you compose a compilable MWE that illustrates the problem. –  Peter Grill Dec 18 '11 at 22:49
    
Hi Peter, I don't really have a problem with the implementation of this in TEX (not yet anyway). I was more hoping for typographical suggestions. But I'll try to create some images to better explain what I'm talking about. –  Flogo Dec 18 '11 at 23:02
    
I'd go with spaces delimiting the definitions, theorems and such things: they must stick out for easy reference. Indentation is out of the question, in my opinion. –  egreg Dec 18 '11 at 23:39
    
@egreg: Yes, thats what I did in the end. I just wasn't sure if I would break some carefully thought out style principle of KOMA that way :-) but as lockstep pointed out, it doesn't. –  Flogo Dec 19 '11 at 11:47

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The recommendation in the KOMA-Script manual to "set paragraphs indented and without any vertical inter-paragraph space" applies to "normal" paragraphs in the running text. On the other hand, it is common typographic practice to set apart quotes, theorems and other "special" paragraphs by adding vertical space before and after them. This is also demonstrated in KOMA-Script's manual, e.g. at page 40 ("Example" environment) and page 42 (quote).

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