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What do \makeatletter and \makeatother do?
Redefining sectioning commands
\@ title and You can’t use `\spacefactor' in vertical mode

I have a few sections in my document that look like

\section*{Introduction}

The font size seems slightly too big for me, and I would like to make it smaller. I found the following \renewcommand snippet (link here):

\renewcommand{\section}{\@startsection
{section}%                      %the name
{1}%                            %the level
{0mm}%                          %the indent
{-\baselineskip}%               %the before skip
{0.5\baselineskip}%             %the after skip
{\normalfont\large\itshape}}%   %the style

But I get the error

You can't use `\spacefactor' in vertical mode

How would I go about solving this problem?

Thank you,

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marked as duplicate by egreg, tohecz, Fran, barbara beeton, Kurt Jan 8 '13 at 22:57

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
See tex.stackexchange.com/questions/8351/… –  egreg Jan 8 '13 at 22:00
1  
@egreg I don't understand how your link relates to my question here. Could you be more specific? –  cartonn Jan 8 '13 at 22:04
3  
The command \@startsection you're using has @ in its name; that thread addresses precisely this problem: put \makeatletter before and \makeatother after that code. –  egreg Jan 8 '13 at 22:07
    
Thank you, it works now. I'll accept your answer if you write it up below as an actual answer. –  cartonn Jan 8 '13 at 22:11
1  
Don't be afraid to make other questions; this wasn't easy to find and we're discussing about how making the problem and its solution more visible on the site. –  egreg Jan 8 '13 at 22:41
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