# Changing vertical space between paragraphs globally

To obtain space between paragraphs I'm currently using \medskip. (I'm not using the parksip package as this gave me problems with space when writing lists. Also when using it I couldn't work out how to get individual paragraphs to indent.) Anyway, my concern is that when I've finished writing, I'm going to look at my project and think "maybe I want a little more space than \medskip is currently giving me", in which case I'm going to have to go through and manually change the spacing. So my question:

Is there a way of changing the space globally? I am envisioning some kind of thing where I can type \vspace{x} where x can be changed at the start of the document.

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Adding \medskip or \vspace{x} after each paragraph is horrible kludge. It will be better to simply change \parskip. So, please ask a question about what goes wrong when you change \parskip manually (or using the parskip package). –  Aditya Aug 22 '12 at 0:37

I'd still use the parskip package and try to sort out problems regarding lists and individual indented paragraphs, but you may change the length \medskipamount which is used by \medskip. (In the following example, I'm changing \medskipamount in the document body for demonstration purposes -- you should modify it in the preamble.)

\documentclass{article}

\begin{document}

Some text.

\medskip

Some text.

\setlength{\medskipamount}{12pt plus 4pt minus 4pt}% Default: 6pt plus 2pt minus 2pt

\medskip

Some text.

\end{document}


As Ulrike Fischer suggested, you may also define a dedicated command to be used between paragraphs:

\documentclass{article}

\newcommand*{\myparskip}{\vspace{\medskipamount}}

\begin{document}

Some text.

\myparskip

Some text.

\renewcommand*{\myparskip}{\vspace{\bigskipamount}}

\myparskip

Some text.

\end{document}


Output for both variants:

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I wouldn't change \medskipamount - you don't know if it isn't used in other commands. It is better define a dedicated command which can be used between the paragraphs. E.g. \newcommand\myparskip{\vspace{\medskipamount}} –  Ulrike Fischer Aug 21 '12 at 11:30
Cheers Ulrike and lockstep, this is exactly what I was looking for and more! The command function seems very useful. Out of interest lockstep, why would you recommend still using \parskip? And Ulrike, would you be so good as to tell me how you deal with vertical space? –  user32259 Aug 21 '12 at 12:09
@user32259 Because I'd find it tedious to type \medskip or \myparskip after every paragraph. –  lockstep Aug 21 '12 at 12:11

In ConTeXt, you can change the spacing between paragraphs using \setupwhitespace. For example:

\setupwhitespace[medium]
\setupindenting[medium, yes]

\starttext
\input knuth
\stoptext


If, at a later stage you want to change the distance between paragraphs, you can change the first line to

\setupwhitespace[3cm plus 5mm minus 5mm] %or any valid TeX length

The image below give the output of these two options.

\setupwhitespace[medium]

\setupwhitespace[3cm plus 5mm minus 5mm]

In LaTeX, you should be able to achieve the same affect by changing the value of \parskip.

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