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My first post so I hope I did this correctly.

Here is the MWE for this problem:

%Abridged Drug Book

\documentclass[12pt,letter,twoside]{book}

\usepackage{multicol}

\usepackage[text={7in,10in},centering]{geometry}

%\usepackage{parskip}

\setlength\parindent{0pt}

%==============

\begin{document}

\begin{center}

\textbf{BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS CODE}

\end{center}
    
\begin{multicols}{2}

\begin{center}

\textbf{DIVISION 2. HEALING ARTS}
            
\textbf{CHAPTER 5. Medicine}
            
\textbf{ARTICLE 3. License Required and Exemptions}
\end{center}

\paragraph{2078.\,Dimethyl Sulfoxide}
(a) As used in this section, “DMSO” means dimethyl sulfoxide.

\end{multicols}
\end{document}

The issue is after \paragraph{2078} ... where paragraph (a) refuses to begin on a new line. I have tried adding a blank line, to no effect. Elsewhere in the text this issue does not appear.

Am I correct that using \setlength\parindent{0pt} will obviate the need to explicitly identify a new line?

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  • You need to provide a minimal working example that compiles all on its own. Apr 15 at 0:57
  • "Am I correct that using \setlength\parindent{0pt} will obviate the need to explicitly identify a new line?" no it does not chaneg the input syntax at all, it just means that you do not mark paragraphs with a first line indent. Almost always if you do this you need to set \parskip so that paragraphs are marked with vertical space otherwise paragraphs are not clearly distinguished at all. that is what the parskip package does. Apr 15 at 8:26
  • 1
    You should not be using \paragraph here: that is a 4th level section heading so should be used after \section, \subsection and \subsubsection. Apr 15 at 8:27

1 Answer 1

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\paragraph starts a section heading (at the "paragraph" level, which by default is a "run-in" heading), and so it eats up spaces (including \par) until it encounters the text to follow.

There are a few ways you can change the behavior; I do not evaluate which is the best since it is very unclear what you are actually trying to accomplish based on your question (so this answer targets the "symptom" and not the "cause").

  1. You can use a standard trick to "terminate" the consumption of spaces, by putting in a $ $ (a space in an inline math environment). So, replace the end of your MWE with

    \end{center}
    
    \paragraph{2078.\,Dimethyl Sulfoxide} $ $
    
    (a) As used in this section, “DMSO” means dimethyl sulfoxide.
    
    \end{multicols}
    \end{document}
    

    (note the blank line after the $ $, which is the same as \par).

  2. You can redefine \paragraph to be a "hanging" section instead of a "run-in" section; one way to do so would be using titlesec.

    The caveat is that if you do it this way, all text after the \paragraph{...} will start on the next line, you cannot have text on the same line.

  3. It appears that you are trying to do a list, since you are starting with (a)? Why not actually use a list instead of hard coding the (a)? Standard list environments when used after \paragraph will start on a new line, and you can configure (using e.g. enumitem) the spacing to your heart's content.


While I am at it, your MWE appears to be typesetting what is suppose to be the document title and various section headings not using any of the sectioning/titling commands provided by LaTeX, but by hand-formatting using \textbf{...}. This feels rather counter to the usual philosophy of using LaTeX. It also makes the question very strange since, after deciding not to use the built-in sectioning commands, you suddenly choose to use \paragraph.

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    using \ $ $ is a bad idea it adds a real space (the space before the first £ and \mathsurround space (if that is non zero0 as such it could force an extra white lineof text if this fell at a line break. Just use \mbox{} with no space before it. But \paragraph is wrong here as it's a 4th level heading as you hint in the final line. Apr 15 at 8:30

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