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How could I un-indent all paragraphs and increase the space between paragraphs, avoiding - at the same time - unwanted changes?

Package parskip works partially fine for me (it causes some unwanted changes).

What would you recommend to me?

The template of the project I am working on is here.

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2  
Could you be a bit more specific about what constitutes "unwanted changes"? –  Mico Aug 19 '12 at 16:59
    
@Mico For example, it seems that it changes the dimensions of the page a little bit. For example, it splits expectedly the front page into 2 other pages, such that the first page now contains only the first word of my thesis title and the second page all the rest of it. –  eualin Aug 19 '12 at 17:05
    
Sets parindent=0pt –  Marco Daniel Aug 19 '12 at 17:06
    
@MarcoDaniel Where and how exactly can I do that? I am newbie –  eualin Aug 19 '12 at 17:08
1  
if you're going to increase the space between paragraphs, then you should expect pages to break in different places. (but why it's happening that only the first word of your title is on the first page is not easy to explain without seeing the actual code.) –  barbara beeton Aug 19 '12 at 21:10

4 Answers 4

The lenght of indention of a paragraph is saved in the register \parindent.

The extra skip between paragraphs is saved in the register \parskip.

So to setup your document against all recommended typographic rules you can set inside your preamble:

\parindent=0pt
\parskip=0pt
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1  
+1 for "against all recommended typographic rules". –  Kurt Aug 19 '12 at 18:03
    
@Kurt: Normally bold isn't enough ;-) –  Marco Daniel Aug 19 '12 at 18:10

if you also want no vertical space before/after display math expressions then write into the preamble:

\AtBeginDocument{%
  \parskip=0pt
  \parindent=0pt
  \abovedisplayskip=0pt
  \belowdisplayskip=0pt
  \abovedisplayshortskip=0pt
  \belowdisplayshortskip=0pt}
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Thanks! That's very helpful! I just don't get the usefulness for \abovedisplayshortskip ? In addition, how could I set global settings for the spacing before and after figures, tables, and lists? –  eualin Aug 19 '12 at 17:45
1  
the vertical space before an equation which starts behind the end of the forgoing text line. However, these lengths are also modified by \tiny,\small,...,normalsize,... –  Herbert Aug 19 '12 at 17:47
    
I still don't understand the difference between abovedisplayskip and abovedisplayskip ? Furthermore, any ideas about the case of figures, tables, and lists? –  eualin Aug 19 '12 at 18:34
\parindent=0pt

The parameters below are rubber lengths. They can expand ands shrink

\parskip=0pt plus 1pt minus 1pt
\abovedisplayskip=0pt plus 1pt minus 1pt
\belowdisplayskip=0pt plus 1pt minus 1pt
\abovedisplayshortskip=0pt plus 1pt minus 1pt
\belowdisplayshortskip=0pt plus 1pt minus 1pt

abovedisplayshortskip is used before and equation when the previous line is short, let us say a few words. abovedisplayskip for the other cases.

\abovedisplayskip=12pt
\abovedisplayshortskip=12pt
this is a longer line of text with several words exceeding the threshold\\
word
\[
  a
\]
this is a longer line of text with several words exceeding the threshold
\[
  a
\]
\abovedisplayshortskip=0pt
this is a longer line of text with several words exceeding the threshold\\
word
\[
  a
\]

For tables figures and other float material the parameters are

  \floatsep=6pt plus 2pt minus 2pt
  \textfloatsep=6pt plus 2pt minus 2pt
  \intextsep=6pt plus 2pt minus 2pt

\floatsep is the vertical space between floats appearing at the top or bottom of pages, \textflaotsep is the space between floats and the text when a float appears at the top or bottom of a page. intextsep is for the cases where the float appears in the text.

For lists, the dimension is \topsep+\parsep, these are redefined inside the list. You can use special purpose packages to control the appearance of lists (for example enumitem)

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To set the paragraph indentation to 0, type \parindent=0 before your first paragraph - this will make all subsequent paragraphs have zero indentation. You can change the number 0 to any other number to alter the amount of indentation and you can also insert the same command again and again to keep adjusting the indentation between paragraphs.

Re. Paragraph breaks, you can manually edit them by using e.g. \\[.4cm] to add an extra .4cm or \\[-1cm] to subtract 1cm, etc. for that break only. I'm not sure about how to set the default size, though.

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11  
No Never use \\ with or without an optional argument to end a paragraph. –  David Carlisle Aug 19 '12 at 18:17
2  
Don't execute \parindent=0 but, rather \parindent=0pt (or \parindent=0cm, etc). Note that it's necessary to give an explicit length unit even if the parameter's numeric value is 0. –  Mico Aug 20 '12 at 15:40

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