Right now I use \\[0.5em] to get vertical spacing.

But writing this every time is quite tiring, so I want to write a command that gives the same output simply by writing \\ and wrote


But it doesn't work. When using \\ I get the same as before.

  • I would expect your redefinition to put text into an infinite loop, and no output, not give the previous results? you should almost never need to use \\ outside of alignments, and almost never need \\[..] in alignments as the document defaults should be setting the required spacing. How come you need to do this often enough to require a command definition? (I was assuming that your redefinition was \\ not \\\\ it is unclear due to markup changes in the question. Jan 16, 2017 at 12:33
  • I often use alignments, but I don't think the default spacing is enough so I always use \\[0.5em]. (Yes, I edited it)
    – Stranqer95
    Jan 16, 2017 at 12:37
  • It would be better to change the default spacing (\renewcommand\arraystretch{1.5} for example.) Jan 16, 2017 at 12:41

1 Answer 1


if used would put TeX into an infinite loop however many latex environments redefine \\ (center, tabular, tabbing, flushright all have different definitions of \\) So within these environments your definition will be ignored. This makes globally redefining \\ tricky (and ill-advised:-).

You could use


and use \N if you want a definition, however you should almost never need \\ outside of alignments, and within alignments you can usually arrange the default spacing so that you rarely need the optional argument.

  • Is it possible to change the default spacing of the align environment completely. As in before \begin{document} so I don't have to use \ arraystretch every time?
    – Stranqer95
    Jan 16, 2017 at 12:42
  • @Stranqer95 just define the length \jot to be bigger that controls the inter-line spacing in display math environments \setlength\jot{10pt} for example Jan 16, 2017 at 12:45

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