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I'm trying to make a description list more compact. I figured the easiest way to do this would be to use mdwlist's description* environment. This reduces the spacing between list items. I'd also like to reduce the left margin to 0pt. From the Compacted List section of the mdwlist documentation:

Some list environments accept arguments. You can pass an argument to a list environment using an optional argument to its compact variant. For example, \begin{foolist*}[{someargument}]

So, I should be able to do something like \begin{description*}[leftmargin=0pt], no? Unfortunately, that returns

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

So, that's obviously not going to work. Can this be done using the mdwlist package? Or, am I left recreating the description* environment with just a small change?

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You can better switch to enumitem that is more flexible in options.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{enumitem}
\begin{document}
  \begin{description}[nosep,leftmargin=0pt]   %% this is local setting
    \item[Some item] This is description of the first item. Just some text to fill in the first line and go to the second line.
    \item[Some item] This is description of the first item. Just some text to fill in the first line and go to the second line.
  \end{description}
\end{document}

enter image description here

Here, nosep makes all separations zero so that you get a compact list. These settings can be made global with setlist.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{enumitem}
\setlist[description,1]{nosep,leftmargin=0pt}   %% This is global affecting all description environments at level 1
\begin{document}
  \begin{description}%[nosep,leftmargin=0pt]
    \item[Some item] This is description of the first item. Just some text to fill in the first line and go to the second line.
    \item[Some item] This is description of the first item. Just some text to fill in the first line and go to the second line.
  \end{description}
\end{document}
  • Awesome. That looks to be everything I was looking for. – Jason_L_Bens Jun 4 '14 at 6:13

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