# How can I eliminate section headers, while keeping the first paragraph of each section unindented?

I would like to have the sections of my document to just be separated by a vertical space, with no visible section header. Furthermore, I would like the first paragraph of each section start without an indent.

I tried the following minimal working example for an \invisiblesection command, taken from this question. Unfortunately, any text that follows this \invisiblesection command gets indented:

\documentclass{article}

\newcommand\invisiblesection[1]{%
\refstepcounter{section}%
\sectionmark{#1}}

\begin{document}

\invisiblesection{First Section}
The section header is invisible :) but the paragraph starts with an indent :(

\section{Second Section}
The section header is visible :( but the paragraph starts with no indent :)

\end{document}


Adding \noindent to the end of \invisiblesection doesn't fix this. Adding \noindent to the beginning of each new section does fix it, but I would like this to happen automatically, as it does when I use the normal section environment.

• A blank lines indicates a new paragraph. How do you make a new paragraph? May 9, 2013 at 19:44
• Can you clarify? I think of a blank line as what defines an end of paragraph, unless I insert a \par. So how do you mean a difference between "follows the previous paragraph" and "follows a blank line"? May 9, 2013 at 19:46
• Have you any serious reasons for breaking a five century old tradition in typography? May 9, 2013 at 20:13
• Sorry, that was very unclear of me. I have fixed the question. Egreg: a 40-century tradition of ignoring schoolmarms? May 9, 2013 at 20:19
• Add \@afterheading to your definition of \invisiblesection May 9, 2013 at 20:26

[EDITED to respond to user request]

\documentclass{article}
\renewcommand\thesection{\noindent}
\let\svsection\section
\renewcommand\section{\vspace*{-3.5\baselineskip}\svsection}
\begin{document}

\section{}

This follows a section

Second paragraph

Third paragraph

\section{}

Paragraph after new section

second paragraph

third paragraph

\end{document}


• Almost! Is there a way to set the vertical spacing between paragraphs? I'm getting rid of section titles to save space, so I'd like to reduce it to around 1 line. May 9, 2013 at 20:39
• I changed -3.5 to -2.5, and this worked perfectly (i.e. left 1 line of spacing between each section). Thank you! May 9, 2013 at 21:34

You can use titlesec to suppress the title; here's an example where I used fancyhdr to show that the \leftmark is correctly set.

The spacing can be adjusted with \titlespacing*{\section}... (note the asterisk).

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{titlesec}
\makeatletter
\titleformat{\section}[block]{}{}{0pt}{\@gobble}
\makeatother

\usepackage{fancyhdr}
\pagestyle{fancy}
\renewcommand{\sectionmark}[1]{\markboth{#1}{#1}}
\fancyhf{}
\fancyfoot[C]{\thepage}

\usepackage{lipsum}

\begin{document}

\lipsum[1]

\section{First section}

\lipsum

\section{Second section}

\lipsum

\end{document}


• Hmm, when I try adjusting the vertical spacing, it seems to undo the \noindent of the first paragraph in each section. I'm using the following: \titlespacing\section{0pt}{0pt plus 4pt minus 2pt}{0pt plus 2pt minus 2pt} \renewcommand\thesection{\noindent} May 9, 2013 at 20:59
• @SuperElectric Sorry, you have to use \titlespacing* which is the version that suppresses indentation on the next paragraph. May 9, 2013 at 21:21