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19.2 \hspace

Synopsis, one of:


Insert the horizontal space length. The length can be positive, negative, or zero; adding negative space is like backspacing. It is a rubber length, that is, it may contain a plus or minus component, or both (see Lengths). Because the space is stretchable and shrinkable, it is sometimes called glue.

This makes a line with ‘Name:’ an inch from the right margin.


The *-version inserts horizontal space that non-discardable. More precisely, when TeX breaks a paragraph into lines any white space—glues and kerns—that come at a line break are discarded. The *-version avoids that (technically, it adds a non-discardable invisible item in front of the space).

In this example

  Fill in each blank: Four \hspace*{1in} and seven years ago our
  fathers brought forth on this continent, a new \hspace*{1in},
  conceived in \hspace*{1in}, and dedicated to the proposition
  that all men are created \hspace*{1in}.}

the 1 inch blank following ‘conceived in’ falls at the start of a line. If you erase the * then LaTeX discards the blank.

Here, the \hspace separates the three graphics.

  \includegraphics{lion.png}%   comment keeps out extra space
  \hspace{1cm minus 0.25cm}\includegraphics{tiger.png}%
  \hspace{1cm minus 0.25cm}\includegraphics{bear.png}

Because the argument to each \hspace has minus 0.25cm, each can shrink a little if the three figures are too wide. But each space won’t shrink more than 0.25cm (see Lengths).

Unofficial LaTeX2e reference manual