I am writing my dissertation and trying to iron out a few bits. My dissertation revolves around methods of solving a Rubik's Cube and I have tried to list out some rules for solving a particular aspect of the cube.

To be more technical, the rules correlate to what makes the edge cubies of the cube correctly oriented.

The image below shows the current format the rules are using to be listed - I think this format could be cleaner, I'm just unsure how... Any recommendations or suggestions would be brilliant. The list is within the yellow highlighted box I've poorly drawn. enter image description here

The code that's providing this visualisation.

Looking at the U/D faces
    \item If the U or D facelets of the edge have orange or red, it is bad
    \item If the U or D facelets have green or blue, check the second edge colour, it is white or yellow, it is bad.

Looking at the F/B faces of the E-slice / Middle layer of the cube.
    \item If the F or B faces have orange or red, it is bad.
    \item If the F or B faces have green or blue, look at the second colour. If the other colour is white or yellow, it is bad.

Any recommendations or suggestions are greatly appreciated, thank you!

  • Not very clear to understand what you want, but I'd use an enumerate environment for the Looking at (...) and an itemize with bullets for those already with bullets. – SebGlav Apr 24 at 11:37
  • I suppose it's a matter of taste what looks "cleaner" but I'm an advocate of tcolorbox. :p – Plergux Apr 24 at 11:50
  • 6
    I’m voting to close this question because it is not really about LaTeX: it asks how certain information should be presented instead of how a particular presentation can be achieved. – Marijn Apr 24 at 12:47

Looking at your output, it seems that you've changed \parindent which is part of what makes everything look so odd. Here's the output from article with no adjustments:

Output of an itemize near a couple of paragraphs

There are two things going on here:

  1. As you can see comparing the output in your document vs article, the difference in the indentation for the list compared to the indentation for the paragraph makes a difference. In article \parindent is set to 20pt at all sizes¹ while the first-level indent (\leftmargini) is set to 2.5em. Since the enumeration label is pushed into the left margin using \llap, ideally you want to have \leftmargini equal to \parindent + the width of the bullet + \labelsep`, but since the same dimension gets used for enumerates and itemizes et al, this is a good enough compromise without digging too deep into reimplementing parts of LaTeX's core.²

  2. The other correction I'd make is the amount of \topsep (but see the next item). Unfortunately, LaTeX uses the same value for the space after the list as below the list which isn't really ideal. If you increased \topsep maybe don't do that.

  3. But I think that what's actually happening with the vertical space is that there's a bad page break happening here causing LaTeX to stretch out the vertical space on this page. LaTeX, for example, sets the \parskip (vertical space between paragraphs) to 0pt plus1pt which normally gives just a little bit of stretch between paragraphs to maintain an even bottom of the page. Putting \raggedbottom in your document preamble would sacrifice the even bottoms of pages for even vertical spacing within pages which I think would look better here.

  1. This is arguably a bad choice. Stanley Morison, in An Essay on Typography argued for a paragraph indent of 1 quad, although he also talked about setting type with no leading in that same essay. I think paragraph indents that are multiples of \baselineskip are probably best with \parindent=\baselineskip being the ideal and \parindent=2\baselineskip being an acceptable second choice.

  2. The messy details would involve changing the existing {\def\makelabel##1{\hss\llap{##1}}}% in the definition of \itemize to explicitly size the contents to give us enough additional space (positive or negative) to the right of the item label to make things line up perfectly.

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