How can I reduce the amount of space around items in an itemized or enumerated list? I would like to reduce the vertical space between items, the space to the left of the bullet, and the space between the bullet and the text.

  • 1
    Use the enumitem package. Commented Aug 2, 2010 at 16:45

2 Answers 2


The paralist package provides compressed lists, the new environments are called compactitem, compactenum and compactdesc. Use it just like the corresponding standard list environments. It can even keep lists within a paragraph.

The enumitem provides more features but also compressed lists, for instance by


\setlist modifies all lists, \setitemize just itemize etc. It takes an optional parameter that stands for the level that should be changed, default it alters all levels. Since enumitem allows a lot more customization I prefer it over paralist, but the latter is easier to use and fits better to the question here.

  • 1
    AFAIK, the current version of enumitem doesn't support lists within a paragraph.
    – lockstep
    Commented Aug 5, 2010 at 22:42
  • 1
    That's true, in-para lists are the outstanding paralist feature, the only one that enumitem doesn't support yet.
    – Stefan Kottwitz
    Commented Aug 5, 2010 at 23:01
  • 4
    Is there a recommended way to reduce the list separation, rather than remove it? I tried \setlist{itemsep=0pt}, which works well, but actually only reduces the separation to something half way between the default and \setlist{nolistsep}. Why is that?
    – naught101
    Commented Sep 27, 2012 at 1:36
  • I don't think \setitemize is a valid command - you need \setlist[itemize, <levels>]{<format>}.
    – tparker
    Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 2:14

Complementing the answer provided by Stefan, we can use the enumitem to create a compact list using the \setlist{nolistsep} or parametrizing each component of \setlist, as following:


Where topsep and partopsep are the vertical space between the list and the paragraphs, itemsep is the vertical space between items, and parsep is the vertical space between the item's paragraphs.

The below picture, from the enumitem manual, illustrates each parameter.

enter image description here

It is worth noticing that we can also change horizontal spacing for a even more compact list.

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