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I'm writing a document in English which includes an abstract in Spanish. In Spanish the first paragraph of a chapter should be indented, while in English shouldn't.

If I use indentfirst package, all first paragraphs in the document would be indented.

How can I indent a first paragraph only once, i.e., without affecting other first paragraphs in the document?

EDIT: I only want to indent the first line of paragraphs. \indent doesn't do the job, maybe because it's overridden to not indent first paragraphs.

share|improve this question
Why not use \indent? – fefe Apr 23 '12 at 12:04
I think because he wants the whole paragraph to be indeted, not the first line only. – Ray Apr 23 '12 at 12:16
I want to indent only the first line. \indent doesn't work, I suppose because it's overriden to not indent the first paragraph. – Jose Apr 23 '12 at 12:33
@Jose In this case you should really edit your question accordingly since it says "How can I indent a first paragraph only once". – Ray Apr 23 '12 at 12:40
up vote 10 down vote accepted

\indent does not work as the code LaTeX inserts to remove the indentation after a section heading really does remove the indentation box, even if added explicitly.


\hspace*{\parindent}aa bb ccaa 
share|improve this answer
Brilliant, thanks a lot – Jose Apr 23 '12 at 14:54

Add to the code executed when entering Spanish what's done by indentfirst; we do also the converse, when exiting Spanish.


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yes +1 for me as no one else had, and this is of course the right way to do it if you have lots of spanish and english sections. If it's just a single abstract though, I thought the hspace was simpler even if it does pollute the document markup a bit. – David Carlisle Apr 23 '12 at 15:30
@DavidCarlisle Of course: one single indent does not require a complicated solution. I'd be even more drastic: if the base language is English, follow the conventions of English. – egreg Apr 23 '12 at 16:35

You could set up a new environment if you would like to indent a full paragraph.


Then you could call this environment by

text text text...

In case you just want to indent a single line I would suggest the \indent command.


share|improve this answer
Thanks for the answer, but yes, I want to indent only the first line. \indent doesn't do the job, maybe because it's overriden to not indent the first paragraph? – Jose Apr 23 '12 at 12:35

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