# Paragraph indents and spacing

By default, LaTeX does not indent the first paragraph after a section command, but will indent all subsequent paragraphs.

You can, of course, add `\indent` to the start of each first paragraph. But that gets rather tedious after a while, and you might miss it if e.g. some time later, you add another paragraph immediately after the sectioning command.

Fortunately, the `indentfirst` package will do this automatically for you — rejoice!

If you need to change the indent amount (for all paragraphs), you can set the `\parindent` length:

`\setlength{\parindent}{2em}`

The inevitable next question: “What if I need to have some space between the paragraphs?”

Rule: Please don’t use `\\\\` to achieve “space between paragraphs”. Please. Don’t.

`\\` is for line breaks. Paragraph breaks in LaTeX are done by either leaving a blank line in the source code, or by using `\par`. Line breaks and paragraph breaks are two very, very distinct concepts in typesetting, and are handled differently in LaTeX.

So the easiest way to achieve this is simply by writing `\usepackage{parskip}`. This avoids modifying the `\parskip` length directly, because `\parskip` has consequences for many other constructs, e.g. `itemize` and `enumerate` lists.

If you happen to be using one of the Koma-Script document classes, you may get a warning message when you try to load `parskip`. In that case, just pass `parskip` as a document class option, e.g. `\documentclass[parskip]{scrbook}`.

If `memoir` is the document class in use instead, you can write `\nonzeroparskip` or `\abnormalparskip{\baselineskip}`.

Just take note: it’s usually considered redundant to have both non-zero paragraph spacing and paragraph indents, so all paragraph indents are suppressed when `parskip` is loaded. Having said that, if you do need the paragraphs to be indented as well (university thesis requirements), use the `\setlength{\parindent}{2em}` to force this.

# USMThesis Updated (Again)

Following the most recent feedback from the Main Campus, USMThesis has been updated to v1.6.3 today. The changes this time are in `usmthesis.tex`, where the List of Publications is moved after the appendices (so now Main Campus and Engineering Campus are on the same page now!) Pun unintended.

Looking at the ChangeLog, `usmthesis` v0.1 was Nov 2005 — so it’s been 10 years!! In fact if anyone wants to host a meetup/talk or something, ping me.

# USMThesis Updated

USMThesis has been updated to v1.6.2, following feedback from IPS that the page numbering of appendices should be turned off in the table of contents.

If you already have the template (v1.6.1) from September 2015 and don’t want to re-download the template again now, just add these lines before `\appendix` in your `thesis.tex`:

```\addtocontents{toc}{\protect\cftpagenumbersoff{part}} \addtocontents{toc}{\protect\cftpagenumbersoff{chapter}}```

Also, from recent feedback, it looks like Main Campus-IPS requires the List of Publications before the abstracts; while the Engineering Campus IPS requires the List of Publications after the appendices. So do check with IPS of your respective campuses before you print your entire thesis!

Another thing — when printing out the PDF, do remember to set paper size to `A4`, and Scaling to `100%` or `None` in the Print dialog. Many PDF viewer applications would set it to `92%` or `Fit on page` by default, and then the font sizes would come out too small and the page margins too wide!

# Math Formula Code Generator for LaTeX

I tried it, and it’s pretty cool and useful, I guess.