# enumitem conflict with french babel

The following crashes with the error:

! LaTeX Error: Something's wrong--perhaps a missing \item.

\documentclass[]{article}
\usepackage[francais]{babel}
\usepackage{enumitem}
\begin{document}
\begin{itemize}[topsep=20pt]
\item item1
\item item2
\end{itemize}
\end{document}


Works ok with english babel. I tried the option loadonly like in enumitem conflicts with galician but without success. Crashes also with french babel.

I found a workaround:

use

 \begin{enumerate}[topsep=20pt,label=--]


 \begin{itemize}[topsep=20pt]

• I have no problem here (TeXLive2012 fully updated). Do you have an up to date version of both packages babel and enumitem? – cjorssen May 2 '13 at 10:03
• It works without error in my texlive 2012, adding \filelist to the preamble shows the newest package that my system loads on that example is enumitem.sty 2011/09/28 v3.5.2 Customized lists do you have an older/newer version?  – David Carlisle May 2 '13 at 10:06

it is a problem with the language setting of frenchb.ldf. Update your system, at least babel then it will work.

• @cjorssen I'm using MikTeX 2.9, updated the packages : babel 3.8m and enumitem 3.5.2. Still doesn't work. Command \begin{enumerate}[noitemsep,topsep=20pt] works properly though. – Penbeuz May 2 '13 at 12:44
• babel should be babel.sty 2013/04/15 v3.9e The Babel package – user2478 May 2 '13 at 12:57
• Unfortunately not in MiKTeX until now … – Speravir May 2 '13 at 22:46
• BTW Also in my portable TeX Live 2012 for Windows is only babel 3.8m existant, and updating for known reasons not possible now. – Speravir May 2 '13 at 23:36
• Yes frenchb.ldf was old on my miktex version, thks – Penbeuz May 3 '13 at 14:27

When loading [french]{babel} with MiKTeX, use the following in the preamble:

%\usepackage[latin1]{inputenc}
\usepackage[french]{babel}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}

\frenchbsetup{StandardLists=true}   %% Resolves conflict between babel and enumitem
\usepackage{enumitem}


I am unaware of the exact workings behind the [french]{babel}package (I would much appreciate if someone could shed the light on the exact technical issue), but I do know that certain changes are made by babel regarding the interpretation of certain characters by LaTeX to allow for the appropriate output of lists according to french typographical standards. These changes are the cause of the conflict between babel and enumitem. The use of \frenchbsetup{StandardLists=true} will resolve this conflict.

• very useful, esp on systems where you can not update babel! helped me solve the problem. – memyself Oct 17 '14 at 17:50