What's the difference? I know that \pagebreak can take an optional argument that specifies how much a page break is desired, but is there any difference if the optional argument is not used?

up vote 187 down vote accepted

Both commands start a new page.

If the optional argument is not used, \pagebreak will start a new page and the paragraphs of the old page will be spread out so that the old page will not look like the end of a chapter.

With \newpage, on the other hand, the old page will have the blank space at the bottom, because the paragraphs will stick together as if the chapter had ended there.

This link will be useful, and the answer to a duplicate question (that was migrated from SO to this site later) gives the following example: alt text

  • Thanks! Not sure how I missed that SO question in my Googling, but I did… – Sophie Alpert Jul 31 '10 at 20:37
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    @Ben: even if you had seen it, it is useful to have the answer here as well! – Vivi Jul 31 '10 at 20:39
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    Nice! This is an example of a great answer! – Juan A. Navarro Aug 4 '10 at 5:54
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    and you have the same difference between \newline and \linebreak on the line scale. – Caroline Fontaine Aug 10 '10 at 11:47
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    Basically the same spacing differences exist for \linebreak vs. \newline. – Martin Scharrer Jul 6 '11 at 7:15

\pagebreak tries to make the page the same height as other pages if it's possible (by stretching intervals between paragraphs etc) and \newpage just fills the page with empty space.

\newpage forces a new page at the point at which it occurs.

\pagebreak without options forces a new page at the end of the line in which it occurs.

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