I'm writing a (large) document using Linux Libertine for text and Asana for math. I have a 11pt font with \baselineskip=14pt. However, not so seldom it happens that the default settings of \lineskip=1pt and \lineskiplimit=0pt cause lines (with some math and sub/superscripts, of course) to be further apart than usual (and I don't like it, especially since I want to have grid typesetting (which I achieve in my set of macros by carefully redefining \sections etc.)). My question is: assuming that I carefully proofread the whole thing (which I do), is it possible that I break something else somewhere else by setting \lineskiplimit to some negative value? (I mean some non-trivial interactions between various parts of LaTeX.) And if you consider this a good idea, what value would yo recommend?

I know this question is a bit vague, so if you have an idea to make it more TeX.SE-conforming;), feel free to edit it/suggest something in the comments.

  • Good question! While I can't comment on LaTeX (hence a comment and not an answer), I have played around with those in plain-tex. In my experience the situations where, uh, “interesting” things start to happen, are places where there are \vcenters in use under the hood, for example with \cases, \eqalign, etc. And then with places which use \openup (i.e., increase \lineskip, \baselineskip, but most importantly, \lineskiplimit!). Also, it becomes fuzzy (to me, at least) how does TeX choose between \(base)lineskip and \normal(base)lineskips when \lineskiplimit is negative.
    – morbusg
    Commented Mar 23, 2012 at 7:59
  • I meant between \lineskip and \baselineskip but I couldn't edit the comment any longer (they've changed that, haven't they?)
    – morbusg
    Commented Mar 23, 2012 at 8:06
  • @morbusg I stuck into the similar problem as you was. Have you solved your problem now? need help.
    – Eric
    Commented Aug 7, 2018 at 14:55

1 Answer 1


It is normal in programs that try to enforce a grid to use:


This makes TeX think that no lines are too close. Therefore the line spacing defined by \baselineskip will be preserved under all circumstances.

Personally I don't favour changing default settings, rather if you have inline math that cause this sort of issue is an indication that you should rather use display math or recast the inline math in a different form.

  • Thanks. The problem is, that this article (whose author is not me, btw) has lots of inline math with lots of sub/superscripts, but often these fall in different places in the line, so your suggested setting will usually not hinder legibility. (Also, Asana's superscripts seem to be much higher than CM's.)
    – mbork
    Commented Mar 23, 2012 at 7:58

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