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I'm looking for a way to write a macro that will add a line break after the text from the argument, but prevent that line break to add to another line break, if there is one following.

If I use \newcommand*\ask[1]{{\bf Q:} #1 \\} and then use \ask{How?} \\ I will have used two \\ and thus get two vertical spaces. But I just want one line break, no further vertical space. The same holds for \newline, \\* and \hfill\break.

Sorry, if my description sounds confusing, I may not have used the proper LaTeX terms. I hope you understand my question anyway.

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    \\ should almost never be used outside of tables. use \par (or equivalently a blank line) also \textbf{G} (\bf is just for compatibility with the 1908's version of latex and is not defined by default in the latex format) – David Carlisle Sep 12 '14 at 9:46
  • this is related (possibly duplicate) tex.stackexchange.com/questions/82664/when-to-use-par-and-when – David Carlisle Sep 12 '14 at 9:48
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    @DavidCarlisle Sometimes misprints are so nice... 1908's version of latex ;-) – Przemysław Scherwentke Sep 12 '14 at 9:54
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    @PrzemysławScherwentke it seems a long time ago:-) – David Carlisle Sep 12 '14 at 9:56
  • The Q is presumably a heading of sorts in which case you should probably use a heading or list item command (which would automatically have the effect you want of ignoring any following blank lines) \section*{Q}xxx and \section*{Q} <blank line> xxx are typeset the same way – David Carlisle Sep 12 '14 at 10:04
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Don't use \\ in documents outside of tabular and math environments.

\newcommand*\ask[1]{\section*{Q: #1}}

Probably does the right thing (or you may want a different level or a custom heading command using the same \@startsection base layout as the sectioning commands).

Then

\ask{something}blah blah

and

\ask{something}

blah blah

Will have the same layout, with the linebreak after the \ask not having any affect on the output.

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