# Vertical spacing between paragraphs as oppose to lists

I think this looks funny:

The problem is that there's significantly less space between the first two paragraphs than there is between the first line of the second paragraph and the list that follows. But this is the default behavior of latex. Am I wrong in thinking that this looks funny? Or should I fix it manually?

\documentclass{article}

\begin{document}
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.  Nulla est
purus, ultrices in porttitor in, accumsan non quam.  Nam consectetur
porttitor rhoncus.

Curabitur eu est et leo feugiat auctor vel quis lorem.
\begin{enumerate}
\item Aliquam porta eros sed velit imperdiet egestas.
\item Maecenas tempus eros ut diam ullamcorper id dictum libero
tempor.
\item Donec quis augue quis magna condimentum lobortis.
\end{enumerate}

\end{document}

• It is the topsep of list. If you add more lines to the second para, this doesn't look bad. You can eliminate that space if you want by loading enumitem package and using \begin{enumerate}[nosep] or \begin{enumerate}[topsep=0pt] – user11232 Aug 9 '15 at 3:48
• @HarishKumar That's a very helpful answer. I keep putting off switching to enumitem. But it seems really useful for so many things. But does your answer mean that you agree that latex's default isn't right? I don't intend to rewrite in this case. Also, why didn't you post this as an answer as opposed to a comment? I'm still trying to understand the appropriate conventions for use of stack exchange. – Ruby Aug 9 '15 at 4:02

The space you see is the topsep that is left just before a list. While the default value of this vertical space is too much or not is subjective, if you add more text in the second paragraph, things don't look that bad.

However, the space can be controlled as you wish. For all list related customizations, I prefer the powerful enumitem, which provides many options.

Using \begin{enumerate}[topsep=0pt] we get

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{enumitem}
\begin{document}
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.  Nulla est
purus, ultrices in porttitor in, accumsan non quam.  Nam consectetur
porttitor rhoncus.

Curabitur eu est et leo feugiat auctor vel quis lorem.
\begin{enumerate}[topsep=0pt]     %% or any other value as you wish.
\item Aliquam porta eros sed velit imperdiet egestas.
\item Maecenas tempus eros ut diam ullamcorper id dictum libero
tempor.
\item Donec quis augue quis magna condimentum lobortis.
\end{enumerate}

\end{document}


Well, now it certainly looks ugly!. We have to adjust other spaces like itemsep etc. Or choose to have no space at all using \begin{enumerate}[nosep].

If this is need for all instances of enumerate then add

\setlist[enumerate]{nosep}


in the preamble (details in enumitem manual).

Whether to fix this space or not depends on your needs and likes. Generally I wouldn't change it but when space becomes a constraint (like in some conferences) I would take the bite.