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I usually only allow paragraphs to be indented when there's a need for them to be: only if the previous "element" could be confused and thus "merged" with the paragraph in question.

In practical terms, this means that there's no indentation after a \medskip or \bigskip, nor after itemize or enumerate, nor after displayed math.

Now, when typesetting floats it's hard to enforce this style: I'd like to leave no indentation after a float (in my opinion, it's hard to confuse things here).

Given, a paragraph may well finish "flush" to the right margin and continue a new sentence just after the float...

The "solution" I'm looking for then would be to force floats to occur (as many as need to) inside paragraphs, so that the first letter after the float is a lowercase, non indented, letter.

Any ideas?

PS: I usually also set \setlength\parfillskip=2em plus 1 fil, so as to have a consistent "visual clue" that a paragraph is over.

  • "Forcing floats to occur inside a paragraph" - does that mean you still want them to float? How about you make a mockup of what you're after for a specific float that you have in mind and post a graphic of it. – Werner Oct 29 '11 at 22:03
  • Let me clarify (I'm pretty bad at this, sorry). I'd like the floats to float normally, but they should always break up a paragraph in two, so as to have the first part of said paragraph, the float, and then the final part of the paragraph. Hope that helps. I'm not in a LaTeX capable computer right now... as soon as I get to one I'll post an example (assuming I find one =P). – mpr Oct 29 '11 at 22:07
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Put simply: you can't.

LaTeX decides to output floats after it has decided to break a page, but when the output routine comes into action paragraphs have already been typeset, so avoiding the indent just after a float is out of the question. You might be able to put top floats above the final part of a paragraph, in some cases, by setting a high negative \interlinepenalty (say \interlinepenalty=-500) so as to encourage TeX to break pages between lines of a paragraph, but the cure can turn out to be worse than the disease. (In my dialect we say "pezo el tacon del buzo", the patch is worse than the tear.)

In my opinion, you start from a wrong assumption: the indent is always necessary, unless after a big interruption, that is, a heading. Some typographic traditions do indent paragraphs also after headings.

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