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Horizontal whitespace#

Per bullet point:

  • Four spaces in code are compressed to just a single space in the output; no matter the amount or the type of whitespace, LaTeX converts it to one space.
  • To force 4 spaces, we can use the \ -command (backslash followed by a space).
  • There are other commands more convenient for a bit of horizontal space, like \quad, \qquad and \;. Sometimes they are useful in mathematics mode: to separate symbols which are otherwise to tight to each other, or to seperate two formulas on one line.
  • Horizontal can also be specified with a dimension, e.g. \hspace{2cm} for 2 centimeters.
  • While \LaTeX is cool! looks right in the code, in the output the 'LaTeX' and the 'is' are sticking together.
  • This is because whitespace after a command is seen as an indication the command name is finished. For example, here we want the \TeX and niCie to stick together, however \TeXniCie would return an error as now it is reading a command 'TeXniCie', which is unknown.
  • If we want whitespace after a command without arguments, we can signal the end of the command name in a different way. Braces mean grouping in LaTeX and will not be printed. Furthermore, they cannot be part of a command name, and therefore already signal the end of the command name. Any whitespace after it is not removed. Note: The braces are not an argument here!
  • Here is code split over two lines. While the output looks fine, you could ask yourself: "where is the space between 'name' and 'is' coming from?". The reason is the newline character, which signals to the computer the text is continuing on the next line. This newline character is whitespace, and as I have said, any whitespace, doesn't matter how much or which type, becomes a single space.
  • If we add a percent sign, this creates a comment, i.e. it and the rest of the line is ignored including the newline character. Therefore, there will be no space between the 'name' and 'is'.

Vertical whitespace#

Vertical whitespace in LaTeX

Vertical whitespace can be added with a dimension using \vspace. Just like with horizontal space, there exist commands for a fixed amount of vertical space, like \medskip and \bigskip.