Is there ever a difference between \vspace{...} and \vspace*{...} if a negative argument is supplied?

Most importantly, does the choice of which macro to use have an influence on page breaking behavior?

1 Answer 1


I don't think the sign of the argument matters, Without the * the skip is always discarded at the start of the page, and with the * it is not discarded.

To answer the second question added later, it shouldn't affect the page before the break (although it may be possible to generate edge cases where it does) but it will of course affect the positioning of the first box on the page after the break and so will affect all subsequent breaks.

  • 9
    So \newpage\vspace{-2cm}Hello will print Hello inside the page frame, whereas \newpage\vspace*{-2cm}Hello will print it somewhere probably inside the page header?
    – yo'
    Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 8:22
  • 4
    That's the idea yes. Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 8:23
  • I see. What I meant was whether the choice of \vspace vs \vspace* has any influence on page breaking behavior when the page break is automatically calculated and not manually given. (I've edited the question text to reflect this.) Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 8:25
  • 4
    @tohecz no you can have a non-forced break at a negative space. A space inserts discardable space and inserts a break point so if you have a sequence of large unbreakable boxes each separated by a negative space they will overlap if on the same page but will break at the skip between boxes, the first box on each new page will or will not overlap the header depending on * Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 8:32
  • 6
    well as I said originally the sign doesn't really affect the choice much. It's nearly always the case that you don't want the * form. The man use of the * form is for special layouts like titles or chapter heads where you are after a forced break and you may want to have negative spacing to insert a graphic or some such that overlaps the head area as you know the pagestyle has an empty headline or you may want positive spacing, it all depends. Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 8:58

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