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What are the default values for the itemize environment (\itemsep, \labelsep, \labelwidth, etc.)?

The below is an example of what I have so far:

\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}
\begin{itemize}
 \item Item 1
 \item Item 2
 \item Item 3
\end{itemize}
\end{document}
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2  
try \the\itemsep, the\labelsep etc or use showthe\itemsep etc. –  Yiannis Lazarides Jan 23 '13 at 5:05

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

This depends on the font size selected for the document class or within the text and whether you're in \twocolumn or not (at least, for the default document classes). For the exact lengths, you need to view size10.clo, size11.clo, size12.clo in conjunction with the document class you're using. The following minimal example lists these totals for the various levels:

enter image description here

\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}
\begin{itemize}
  \item \verb|\itemsep:| \the\itemsep
  \item \verb|\labelsep:| \the\labelsep
  \item \verb|\labelwidth:| \the\labelwidth
  \item \verb|\parsep:| \the\parsep
  \item \verb|\topsep:| \the\topsep
  \item \verb|\partopsep:| \the\partopsep
  \item \verb|\leftmargin:| \the\leftmargin
  \begin{itemize}
    \item \verb|\itemsep:| \the\itemsep
    \item \verb|\labelsep:| \the\labelsep
    \item \verb|\labelwidth:| \the\labelwidth
    \item \verb|\parsep:| \the\parsep
    \item \verb|\topsep:| \the\topsep
    \item \verb|\partopsep:| \the\partopsep
    \item \verb|\leftmargin:| \the\leftmargin
    \begin{itemize}
      \item \verb|\itemsep:| \the\itemsep
      \item \verb|\labelsep:| \the\labelsep
      \item \verb|\labelwidth:| \the\labelwidth
      \item \verb|\parsep:| \the\parsep
      \item \verb|\topsep:| \the\topsep
      \item \verb|\partopsep:| \the\partopsep
      \item \verb|\leftmargin:| \the\leftmargin
      \begin{itemize}
        \item \verb|\itemsep:| \the\itemsep
        \item \verb|\labelsep:| \the\labelsep
        \item \verb|\labelwidth:| \the\labelwidth
        \item \verb|\parsep:| \the\parsep
        \item \verb|\topsep:| \the\topsep
        \item \verb|\partopsep:| \the\partopsep
        \item \verb|\leftmargin:| \the\leftmargin
      \end{itemize}
    \end{itemize}
  \end{itemize}
\end{itemize}
\end{document}

Some font-dependent settings include \labelsep, \labelwidth and \leftmargin. These are set at root level (in non-\twocolumn mode) to be

  • \labelsep: .5em;
  • \leftmargin: 2.5em;
  • \labelwidth: \leftmargin - \labelsep = 2.5em - .5em = 2em.
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