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The following MWE demonstrates two lists, each of which follows a header. In the first case, the list items are arranged in a single column as usual. In the second case, the list is broken into two columns by way of minipages. Because no text precedes the lists in these minipages, the list parameter \topsep is suppressed, and the lists crowd the header. Is it possible to induce \topsep here in the absence of preceding text? If not, how can vertical space be created to EXACTLY match the \topsep of the first list?

\documentclass{article}

\begin{document}

\noindent
Header 1
\begin{itemize}
    \item First item
    \item Second item
    \item Third item
    \item Fourth item
\end{itemize}

\medskip

\noindent
Header 2

\noindent
\begin{minipage}[t]{2in}
    \begin{itemize}
        \item First item
        \item Second item
    \end{itemize}
\end{minipage}
%
\begin{minipage}[t]{2in}
    \begin{itemize}
        \item Third item
        \item Fourth item
    \end{itemize}
\end{minipage}

\end{document}
3
  • Have you tried inserting the instruction \vspace{\topsep}?
    – Mico
    Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 18:59
  • @Mico Yes, but \vspace seems to introduce a new line and I'm not certain how to precisely counteract this. Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 19:03
  • Please see the answer I just posted.
    – Mico
    Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 19:07

1 Answer 1

2

Inserting a \vspace{\topsep} instruction between "Header 2" and the start of the minipage should do the job. Note that in the example below, I've switched to a twocolumn layout to ease the visual comparison of the vertical offsets.

enter image description here

\documentclass[twocolumn]{article}
\setlength\parindent{0pt} % just for this example
\begin{document}

Header 1
\begin{itemize}
    \item First item
    \item Second item
    \item Third item
    \item Fourth item
\end{itemize}

\newpage % force a column break

Header 2

\vspace{\topsep}  % <--- new

\begin{minipage}[t]{1.5in}
    \begin{itemize}
        \item First item
        \item Second item
    \end{itemize}
\end{minipage}%
\begin{minipage}[t]{1.5in}
    \begin{itemize}
        \item Third item
        \item Fourth item
    \end{itemize}
\end{minipage}

\end{document}
1
  • This works perfectly. In implementing your original suggestion, I mistakenly put the \vspace between the minipage and list. But this created a new line/preceding text which induced and then compounded \topsep! Thanks for the MWE. Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 19:20

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