# ConTeXt: vertical spacing

I'm a bit confused about how to specify vertical whitespace. The following document works:

``````\setupwhitespace[line]

\starttext

\subsection{Title}

\input tufte

\input tufte

\stoptext
``````

But why can't I use `\setupwhitespace[2*line]`, and neither `\blank[0.5*line]`? Both result in an error. Meanwhile, `\setupwhitespace[5cm]` doesn't seem to have an effect.

What I'm actually trying to achieve is having the vertical spacing between paragraphs (and subsections) `0.5*line`, or if that's not possible some specific centimeters.

• Aug 17, 2013 at 16:43
• Thanks, `halfline` works. But what about, say `0.1*line`? Pasting `\installwhitespacemethod \v!pointoneline {\s_spac_whitespace_parskip.1\baselineskip}` gives an error.
– mb21
Aug 17, 2013 at 19:49
• Enclose the installwhitespace line in `\starttexcode … \stoptexcode` and replace `\v!pointoneline` with `{pointoneline}`. Aug 17, 2013 at 23:27
• okay, seems I'm starting to figure it out (feel free to edit my answer below). So the only missing case would be: `0.1*line` spacing after a subsection. Is that possible as well?
– mb21
Aug 18, 2013 at 7:26
• `\setuphead[section][style=\tfc, before={\blank[line]}, after={\blank[none]}]`
– mb21
Feb 2, 2014 at 15:05

A clean way, which doesn't require low level TeX is to use the measure mechanism. A dimension is defined using `\definemeasure`, the value can be retrieved with `\measure`.

``````\definemeasure
[pointoneline]
[.5\baselineskip]

\setupwhitespace
[\measure{pointoneline}]