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I'm new to LaTeX and trying to format my Honors Thesis, which has very specific formatting rules to prepare the manuscript for publication. For instance, on the Abstract page, I am required to place 3 blank lines above and below my name and degree information. At the moment, this is the code I have for the abstract page:

\newpage

\begin{center}
\vspace*{1in}
ABSTRACT \\

\vfill
\singlespacing
TITLE SINGLE-SPACED IN ALL CAPS, SAME SIZE AS THE REST OF THE TEXT

\vfill %Should be 3 blank lines here.

\doublespacing
My name \\
My department \\
My degree

\end{center}

\vfill %Should be 3 blank lines here.

Put text of the abstract here.

%The abstract must not exceed 250 words.

As you can see, right now I'm just using the \vfill command, which I think looks spectacular but doesn't fulfill the formatting requirements exactly (although it gets pretty close when the abstract is 250 words). I've considered using the \vspace{} command, but I don't know how long 3 lines of text in Times New Roman size 12 font would be. Right now I'm using TeXShop to edit this document, which is a .Rnw file (I'm going to use Sweave). Right now, the default spacing is double-spacing (Most of the thesis is required to be in double-spacing) using the setspace package.

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3  
\vspace{3\baselineskip}\vspace{-\parskip} should work. But your center-environment will add some space, use better \centering if you want to avoid this. – Ulrike Fischer Jul 18 '12 at 15:08
    
a new question that covers this same topic: [Function to define how many lines to be displayed](tex.stackexchange.com/questions/80328/] – barbara beeton Nov 4 '12 at 14:34
up vote 27 down vote accepted

Use \vspace*{3\baselineskip} command for getting your requirement

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1  
Thanks - that seemed to work, although I did add \vspace*{-\parskip} and changed to \centering rather than the \begin{center} environment, as suggested by Ulrike. I also found that switching to \singlespacing after the "My department" line, and then switching back to \doublespacing before the text of the abstract, was helpful. Thanks everyone! – lish Jul 18 '12 at 17:08

You can use bigbreak:

alfa bravo
\bigbreak
\bigbreak
\bigbreak
charlie delta
\bigbreak
\bigbreak
\bigbreak
echo foxtrot
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1  
No, please don't. – Johannes_B Mar 20 at 7:21
    
@Johannes_B It would be great to mention, why. – Stefan Kottwitz Mar 20 at 14:36
    
It is just not a good idea to use \bigbreak several times. Also, depending on the font size, this gives (unexpected?) different results. \documentclass[12pt]{article} \begin{document} \begin{minipage}{.2\linewidth} alfa bravo \bigbreak \bigbreak \bigbreak charlie delta \bigbreak \bigbreak \bigbreak echo foxtrot \end{minipage} \begin{minipage}{.2\linewidth} alfa bravo \\[3\baselineskip] charlie delta\par \vspace*{3\baselineskip} echo foxtrot \end{minipage} \end{document} – Johannes_B Mar 20 at 14:53

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