I would like an equation environment that doesn't care about empty lines. Normally, empty lines before and after equation start a new paragraph, resulting in additional vertical spacing around the display equation. Empty lines inside the equation environment cause a compilation error:

Text above
                    % <- Empty line causes additional spacing
                    % <- Empty line causes error
x &= y \\
                    % <- Empty line causes error
y &= z
                    % <- Empty line causes error
                    % <- Empty line causes additional spacing
Text below
  • 9
    Perhaps you use blank lines to visually arrange and organize your document input. If so, just get in the habit of placing a lone % on the otherwise blank lines. It looks virtually the same, and you don't need to modify LaTeX at all. May 12, 2020 at 18:57
  • Unfortunately, that conflicts with paragraph motion in Vim. It's also more work. That said, I agree that this is the recommended solution for the majority of users.
    – danijar
    May 12, 2020 at 18:58
  • 1
    you have not provided a test document and your fragment has no blank lines that would generate an erroneous \par as they are all commented out. May 12, 2020 at 20:16
  • 2
    It is not smart idea adapt LaTeX to specific of your editor. By this you make problems to others who use other LateX editors.
    – Zarko
    Oct 10, 2020 at 6:16
  • @Zarko I think there is a misunderstanding here. This question is not specific to an editor. I edit LaTeX source often and don't want to spend additional time maintaining empty comments as a workaround for supporting empty lines, e.g. inside equation environments. This will also not cause problems to other editors.
    – danijar
    Oct 18, 2020 at 2:55

1 Answer 1



  • Empty lines before. Once LateX processed a \par it can't be removed. Instead, we check if we're at the beginning of a new paragraph with \ifvmode and then set parskip to zero and compensate for the empty line above with negative space.

  • Empty lines after. We can prevent the \par after an environment from being written using \@gobble\par, which ignores both spaces and a line break that might follow the equation environment. For more details, see this answer.

  • Empty lines inside. To hide empty lines from amsmath, we change \endlinechar to a space character. This should not affect the equation otherwise, because spaces are ignored in math mode. I'm unsure why a nested command is needed but it does work.



\abovedisplayskip=.8em plus .2em minus .2em
\belowdisplayskip=.6em plus .1em minus .1em
\abovedisplayshortskip=.8em plus .2em minus .2em
\belowdisplayshortskip=.6em plus .1em minus .1em

\newcommand{\eq}{\begingroup\removeParBefore\endlinechar=32 \eqinner}




x &= y \\

y &= z




equation environment with removed spaces

  • 2
    I'm sorry but this does not work. You had not provided an example so i added one. Note that this is using shortdisplayskip even though the final line of the text is long so the spacing at the top is wrong. Also unlike a blank line before or in an equation, a blank line after an equation is not an error it is the mechanism to mark the following text as starting a paragraph, which isn't possible if you remove the \par unless you use unnatural markup like \par\par so only one is removed. May 12, 2020 at 20:11
  • also if you remove the comments so your lines are empty then you get ! Missing $ inserted errors May 12, 2020 at 20:14
  • it also sets \parskip to 0pt for the rest of the document, even if it was non-zero initially. May 12, 2020 at 21:00
  • Thanks for pointing out these things and improving the example. It should all be working now. By the way, I would say that none of the default behavior here is an error on the side of LaTeX. It was just an inconvenience to me.
    – danijar
    May 13, 2020 at 0:57
  • 1
    no: a blank line being end of paragraph is a fundamental syntax feature of the language. May 14, 2020 at 6:14

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