...Change the spacing between lines and paragraphs?

In changing the default fontsize (one and two) we saw that different ways of changing the fontsize resulted in different spacing between the lines. This page will solve that problem but it's also going to be helpful in changing fonts as well because some fonts require more space between the lines. To change the spacing between lines, use the \linespread command in the preamble (the area after the \documentclass command and before \begin{document}.  Putting \linespread{1} leaves the default spacing between the lines unchanged. Increasing the number increases the space, but not like you'd expect or want.

Double spacing the document: \linespread{1.6}

One and one half spacing: \linespread{1.3}

Single spacing: \linespread{1.0}

Changing the spacing between paragraphs is a little more complicated. The spacing is determined by the \parskip length which is set using the \setlength command

\setlength{\parskip}{1.2ex}

The paragraph skip is set as 1.2 ex (a unit of measure) of extra vertical space in addition to . Easy enough, but what's an ex and can we use something else? Here are some common measures of length that LaTeX has:

  1. in (inches)
  2. mm (millimeters)
  3. cm (centimeters)
  4. pt (points [about 1/72 of an inch])
  5. em (approximately the width of one M in the current font)
  6. ex (approximately the height of one x in the current font)
[UPDATE: In general, using relative units such as em and ex is best because using absolute units (such as cm) won't look as good if you decide later to change the fontsize.]
This tex file illustrates the spacing between lines and paragraphs: LineParSpacing (.tex)
This is the output:
By experimenting with different arguments, such as \linespread{1.4} and \setlength{\parskip{.5cm},  you can fine tune the spacing of lines and paragraphs.

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