# Reduce the number of lines of a paragraph [duplicate]

How can I tell Latex that I want my paragraph with n less lines? I saw a question some days ago, but after twenty minutes of heavy searching (I think), I found nothing.

There is a “penalty” or something like that which asks Latex to try to put the text in less lines. Something like \reducelines=-1 asks Latex (TeX) to reduce the number of lines by one.

I know this is a duplicate, but I can't find the “original” question.

• The keyword to look for is \looseness: for instance tex.stackexchange.com/questions/146890/… and tex.stackexchange.com/questions/168611/… – egreg Apr 26 '14 at 20:34
• Indeed, it is. There is a problem, though: I found no succesful question/answer looking in this site. I think that some question titles (about this particular problem) should be rewritten for future users. – Manuel Apr 26 '14 at 20:37
• I don't know why, but those don't appear when you search for, e.g., number lines paragraph. When Werners answer explicitly says that, for instance. This is a duplicate, but I think those questions should be edited in a way future users will find the solution easier. The one I was looking for was @Aditya 's one. – Manuel Apr 26 '14 at 20:38
• If this remains open, I invite everyone to edit my question so that it's more easy to find, in case someone in the future wants to. – Manuel Apr 26 '14 at 20:59

There is a parameter \looseness: With \looseness=1 TeX will try to make the paragraph a line longer, with \looseness=-1, a line shorter. Also higher values can tried, but longer paragraphs would be useful for TeX to have a chance.

At the start or a paragraph, \looseness is reset to zero, see procedure normal_paragraph in tex.web (other parameters that are reset there are \hangindent, \hangafter, and \parshape).

At the end of the paragraph, \losseness is evaluated, when TeX breaks the paragraph into lines.

Therefore, \looseness should be placed inside the paragraph, e.g. right before the end:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer
adipiscing elit. Ut purus elit, vestibulum ut, placerat ac,

• How do I use it? Wher should I place \looseness=-1? – StrawberryFieldsForever Oct 24 '17 at 14:50
• @StrawberryFieldsForever TeX tries to make the paragraph shorter or longer depending on the value of \looseness. But, this does not always succeed, depending on the contents of the paragraph, the possible break points, ... – Heiko Oberdiek Oct 30 '17 at 22:47