TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I know that I can set \itemsep to any length like this,


But if I want to set \itemsep to a rubber length (e.g. \bigskip), how do I do this?


does not work.

share|improve this question
up vote 11 down vote accepted

The skip is \bigskipamount; \bigskip is a \vskip of \bigskipamount, so you could use


Of course, you can say

 \setlength{\itemsep}{12pt plus4pt minus4pt}

For the record, the definitions in Plain:

\newskip\smallskipamount % the amount of a \smallskip
\smallskipamount=3pt plus1pt minus1pt
\newskip\medskipamount % the amount of a \medskip
\medskipamount=6pt plus2pt minus2pt
\newskip\bigskipamount % the amount of a \bigskip
\bigskipamount=12pt plus4pt minus4pt


and in the LaTeX kernel:


\smallskipamount=3pt plus 1pt minus 1pt
\medskipamount =6pt plus 2pt minus 2pt
\bigskipamount =12pt plus 4pt minus 4pt
share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.