In my document in memoir class, there is a chapter with unnumbered sections --- \section*{}. (The effect is the same if the sections are numbered but \setcounter{secnumdepth}{-1} is used.)

When a new section begins at the top of a page, it leaves vertical space as if the section number were printed there.

I find it odd and would have expected Latex to start at the top of the page in such a case.

Is this an intended behavior --- as in 'Best Typesetting Practice'?

If not, how do I suppress it?

  • 4
    What's \section*{} for? If you want to “leave some blank space” just use \bigskip or a similar command.
    – egreg
    Apr 6, 2014 at 13:32
  • @egreg, point well taken. Will use \bigskip instead. Also, if you give it as an answer, will accept it
    – deshmukh
    Apr 6, 2014 at 13:41

1 Answer 1


Using \section*{} just to get some blank vertical space is not the best way to accomplish the task; a vertical space is obtained by commands such as


In the standard classes \smallskip is 3pt shrinkable to 2pt and (optimally) stretchable to 4pt; \medskip is 6pt shrinkable to 4pt and (optimally) stretchable to 8pt; \bigskip is 12pt shrinkable to 8pt and (optimally) stretchable to 16pt.

You're free to use also \vspace that takes a rubber length specification:

\vspace{24pt plus 8pt minus 8pt}

would be the double of \bigskip.

Remember that under normal conditions these commands should be issued between paragraphs:

... end of a paragraph.

\medskip % leave some vertical space

Start of a paragraph ...

Don't be too generous with vertical spacing: \medskip is usually sufficient.

  • 1
    Read the manual. \fancybreak{} (bank line before and after), leaves a blank line in the about and the text after is not indented (meant as a note to the OP, not egreg)
    – daleif
    Apr 6, 2014 at 14:51

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