# \textit causing problems when used with enumerate

I use enumerate for making a list. The first sentence of an item should be italic. Unfortunately the first capital letter (item b) and c)) looks wrong. It looks as if it is indented.

Has anyone a solution to this problem or a recommendation, how I can highlight the first sentence?

\documentclass[
a4paper,
bibliography=totoc,
toc=listof,
listof=entryprefix,
]
{scrbook}

\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage{textcomp}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage[english,german,ngerman]{babel}
\usepackage{lmodern}
\usepackage{scrlayer-scrpage}
%\usepackage{microtype}
\usepackage{lipsum}

\usepackage{enumitem}

\usepackage[backend=biber]{biblatex}

\begin{document}

\chapter{Lorem ipsum}
\lipsum[1]

\begin{enumerate}[label=\emph{\alph*})]
\item Vam dui ligula, fringilla a, euismod sodales, sollicitudin vel, wisi. Morbi auctor lorem non justo. Nam lacus libero, pretium at, lobortis vitae, ultricies et, tellus.

\item \textit{Vam dui ligula, fringilla a, euismod sodales, sollicitudin vel, wisi.} Morbi auctor lorem non justo. Nam lacus libero, pretium at, lobortis vitae, ultricies et, tellus.

\item \textit{Aam dui ligula, fringilla a, euismod sodales, sollicitudin vel, wisi.} Morbi auctor lorem non justo. Nam lacus libero, pretium at, lobortis vitae, ultricies et, tellus.

\end{enumerate}

\lipsum[3]

\end{document}

• Anyway to your actual problem: If you look at the lower part of the A it actually aligns quite well with the rest of the text, but the italic V is indeed seemingly shifted a bit to the right even when comparing with the top serif... – moewe Aug 16 '18 at 15:28
• I replaced your enormous image by a closeup of just the area of interest. If you do not approve, feel free to roll back the edit. (But I hope you'll leave it.) – Harald Hanche-Olsen Aug 16 '18 at 15:33

This is how italics work in TeX. Look at the picture above: Each V is placed within its associated character box. Note how the upright V stays within its box, while the italic V sticks out of it on the right? And more to the point, it leaves a lot of empty space at the left end.

Most of the time, this is what is wanted (this may not be the best place to discuss the reasons for that), but in your particular situation, that space looks jarring.

The cure is to add some negative horisontal space before the italic V, and likewise, the A:

\item \hspace*{-0.15em}\textit{Vam dui ligula, fringilla a, […]} […]
\item \hspace*{-0.05em}\textit{Aam dui ligula, fringilla a, […]} […]


A quick note on the units: I use em because that will scale with the font, so you don't need to make adjustments if the font size changes. Note that I used a much bigger negative space in front of the V, to make it align with the left margin. While for the A, it already aligns at the bottom, so we don't want too big an adjustment, lest it protrude visibly into the margin. But the smaller adjustment lessens the impact of the apparent space before the upper part of the A.

Adjust these sizes according to taste, of course.

Also, note that the microtype package automates this sort of adjustments for you.

Finally, many thanks to Ruixi Zhang for constructive thoughts in the comments.

• I agree that manual adjustments in such cases are better than automatic ones (as it encourages users to pay attention to fine details, and these adjustments should change accordingly when different font is used), but I’d suggest using font size dependent units (em, ex) rather than absolute units (pt). BTW, I’ve always typed subspace~$V$\!. and random variable~$Y$\!. to make the period to look better. – Ruixi Zhang Aug 16 '18 at 16:02
• I think your “negative space before the italic A” recommendation should be part of your answer (microtype does the exact same thing, protrusion, to upright T, V and A and so on). :-) And feel free to add information on the units in your answer as well. – Ruixi Zhang Aug 16 '18 at 16:11
• @RuixiZhang Thanks for this advice. I removed the comment and added to the answer. – Harald Hanche-Olsen Aug 16 '18 at 16:28