# [texhax] Peculiar behavior of latex \section

Michael Barr barr at math.mcgill.ca
Tue Jul 15 00:02:14 CEST 2008

The following short file illustrates the behavior:

\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}
{\section{Section one}}
First section
\section{Section two}
Second section
\section{Section three}
Third section
\end{document}

When you run it, two things happen.  The "First section" is indented.  I
understand, more or less, why this happens.  But there is only a small
space between "First section" and "Section two", which is certainly
anomalous.  Compare with the space between "Second section" and "Section
three".  Things are normal if you remove the extra outer braces around
"\section{Section one}, but the strange thing is that affects the spacing
above the NEXT \section.  Incidentally the problem also disappears if you
change the third and fourth lines to:

{\section{Section one}
F}irst section

It seems likely to me that some parameter that has to be reset at the end
of the sectioning macros is not getting reset properly.  But I don't
understand the operation of the \@startsection macro well enough to deal
with this.

Michael Barr