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I'm trying to create a list or listlike structure that has the following characteristics:

  • no extra vertical space between items
  • no leading line numbers
  • "looking nice" when surrounded by \begin{multicols}{2}... \end{multicols}.
  • having no global or as few global effects on the document as possible.

It might be correct to use ordinary lines instead of a list, but I'm thinking of this region of text as a list semantically and I'd like to surface that in the structure of the LaTeX document.

The closest attempt at a solution that I've found (cobbled together from the TeX SE answers in 1001) is:

% horrible hack!
\renewcommand{\theenumi}{}

\newenvironment{minimal_enumerate}%
{%
    \begin{enumerate}[noitemsep]%
    \setlength{\topsep}{0pt}%
    \setlength{\itemsep}{-1ex}%
    \setlength{\partopsep}{1ex}%
    \setlength{\parsep}{1ex}%
}%
{%
    \end{enumerate}%
}%

Where blasting away \theenumi globally prevents the numbers 1, 2, 3 &c from being expressed, but still leaves a period that separates the would-be number from the list item.

Is there a way to modify the above definition so as to prevent the expression of list numbers or periods in front of items without global effects on the document?

Ideally, is it possible to define an environment based on enumerate when the package enumitem is loaded and the package enumerate is not loaded?


Here are some false starts I've had with other paths to a minimal list.

short_itemize is based on this answer.

\newenvironment{short_itemize}%
{%
    \begin{itemize}%
    \setlength{\itemsep}{0pt}%
    \setlength{\parskip}{0pt}%
    \setlength{\parsep}{0pt}%
}%
{%
    \end{itemize}%
}%

I can't figure out how to remove the bullets.

The other thing I've tried is just using description as in this answer.

But I can't figure out how to reduce the amount of spacing between items in the description without touching global configuration settings.


1001 -- consulted answers that appear to suggest enumerate as modified by the package enumitem.

  • If I understand well, you' like a ‘numberless enumerate’ – some kind of oxymoron? – Bernard Jan 14 at 23:30
  • It might be contrary to the intended meaning of enumerate, but the API of enumerate seems to expose most of the functionality I want. Ideally I'd like to define a new environment that's merely implemented in terms of enumerate. I included other potential solutions and where I hit a wall ... but enumerate seems to be the most flexible sequence-like environment I can find. – Gregory Nisbet Jan 14 at 23:36
  • 3
    What I don't understand is this: what would be the difference with a succession of ordinary paragraphs? – Bernard Jan 14 at 23:42

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