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In the example below, I wanted to reduce white space above the first section header (it seems to be improperly or at least variably placed), and when trying to use \vspace{} above the first \Section{} to realign it, I get no changes using \vspace{-0mm} up through \vspace{-12mm} BUT then using \vspace{-13mm} causes the header text placement to be VERY high (see screen captures below).

Oddly, this problem does NOT happen if I merge the last two paragraphs of text into one paragraph. Different text will cause a reasonable or awkwardly large amount of white space above the first Section heading.

Can anyone explain why \vspace{} and/or \Section{} are misbehaving? Thanks! :-)

\documentclass[11pt]{amsart}
\usepackage{fullpage} % fixes the annoyingly large default margins. 

\setlength{\parindent}{0pt}
\setlength{\parskip}{1em}
\setlength{\footskip}{10pt}
\setlength{\topmargin}{-0.5in}
\setlength{\headheight}{15pt}
\setlength{\headsep}{0.3in}
\setlength{\textheight}{9.05in}
\setlength{\footskip}{0.5in}


% For fancy header...
\usepackage{fancyhdr}
\usepackage{lastpage}
\pagestyle{fancy}
\lhead{Joe Public} 
\chead{{\large{\bf Document Title}}} 
\rhead{\thepage/\pageref{LastPage}}
\lfoot{} 
\rfoot{} 
\cfoot{}

% Emphasize the section titles more than the default
\newcommand{\Section}[1]{{\Large\section*{#1}}}


% First page
\fancypagestyle{empty}{%
  \fancyhf{}% Clear header/footer
  \fancyhead[C]{
    \textbf{\sc{\LARGE Document Title}}\\  \vspace{1mm}
    \sc{\large Joe Public}  \vspace{1mm}
  }% 
}


%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
\begin{document}

\thispagestyle{empty} % default is to keep first page plain...
\phantom{.} % Keeps text from starting right below the \hbar

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\vspace{-12mm} % 0 to 12mm does NOT change \Section placement!?
%\vspace{-13mm} % But 13mm causes a BIG jump up... 

\Section{The First Section}

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\Section{The Second Section}

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\end{document}

Here's the comparison of -0mm and -12mm (identical) on the left, -13mm on the right: Comparison of \vpsace{-12mm} and \vspace{-13mm} using the code above.

2

what is happening here is that you've had the bad luck to run into the situation where two lines of the "next" paragraph (the one that starts on page 2) won't fit at the bottom of page 1, so the page is broken after the first paragraph of section 2, and the pre-section-head stretch (quite a large stretch) takes over.

if you really want to modify the space above the headings (you really should consider decreasing the space below the section headings also, if not even in preference to the space above), then you should modify the basic definition of \section:

\def\section{\@startsection{section}{1}%
  \z@{.7\linespacing\@plus\linespacing}{.5\linespacing}%
  {\normalfont\scshape\centering}}

the segment beginning .7\linespacing specifies the space above, and the (non-stretchable) .5\linespacing gives the space below.

these values were set with the goal of having flush-bottom pages when section headings are present in journal articles in ams publications. you have made major changes to the page layout, so the predefined settings can't be expected to behave as they were originally designed. the ams document classes were not meant to be modified in this manner, but to rigorously adhere to the ams publication specs.

you might actually have better luck using article (instead of amsart) and loading amsmath and amsthm to get reasonably comparable results.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thanks! I switched over to article and used packages amsmath and amsthm and it seems to work now. I don't need section numbers, so I created the headings by defining: \newcommand{\Section}[1]{\vspace{0.7em}{\Large\normalfont\scshape\centerline{#1}}\vspace{0.25em}} – Paul J Hurtado Aug 19 '14 at 17:13

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