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Inconsistent line spacing

In the following MWE, the first paragraph has a quite tight line-spacing. The second paragraph has a larger line-spacing, which I accidentally used for my title, but is actually the intended layout. It appears font-size commands affect font-size inside the group, but line-spacing for the entire paragraph.

Is my understanding correct? How, where, and why do font-size commands affect font-sizes and line heights? What is the underlying system here? What is the correct usage of font-size commands in this context?

\usepackage{savetrees} % just so example fits on a page; not essential for MWE
{\LARGE \blindtext}

\Huge {\LARGE \blindtext}

Output using pdfTeX, Version 3.1415926-2.3-1.40.12 (TeX Live 2011) and article 2007/10/19 v1.4h:

linespacing example

Related question: How to use \Large and its variants

  • See also this question. You apparently have to tell TeX that a group contains a paragraph using \par, else it's treated as just inline text. – Chel Nov 29 '11 at 10:52
  • If you use nested commands of fontsizes you need to tell TeX where to make a paragraph. Simply write \Huge {\LARGE \blindtext \par} and you will get what you expect. – Keks Dose Nov 29 '11 at 12:37
  • @KeksDose -- although the paragraph in question will have the desired baselines, the "outer" \Huge will remain to affect anything that follows. not really a good idea. – barbara beeton Nov 29 '11 at 21:12
  • If you write \Huge, you wanna have huge type somewhere. – Keks Dose Nov 30 '11 at 16:09

(La)TeX "wraps" the preceding paragraph when it comes to \par or a blank line, and then it uses the characteristics of the font currently in effect.

your first paragraph doesn't "end" while \LARGE is in effect, so it uses the default baseline value.

but \Huge is at the outer level, so its baseline value is used for the second paragraph. the \LARGE baseline value is never considered.

moral: if you want the baselines to be compatible with the font size in an isolated paragraph, always be sure to end the different-sized group with \par or a blank line.

| improve this answer | |
  • I've marked up your inline code with `: using ` ...' doesn't work here :-) – Joseph Wright Nov 29 '11 at 20:11
  • @JosephWright -- aaarrrrghhhhh. someday i'll learn to type correctly. (too bad there's not a preview on comments.) – barbara beeton Nov 29 '11 at 20:54

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