Michael Barr barr at math.mcgill.ca
Fri Mar 22 22:25:06 CET 2013

I have an ms that is to be published in the online journal I do the tex
editing for.  For reasons I don't want to go into, I cannot ask him to
revise it; it was put into tex by a grad student, not by the author.  The
grad student ended every paragraph with \\ followed by a blank line.  You
can see the effect from this simple file:

\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}
This is a test of what \\

and again

And here it is without the\\

\end{document}

There are 1063 instances of \\ in the file and probably several dozen are
actually appropriate, maybe a 100.  (This ms compiles to 170 pages.)  I am
not about to go through it and take out the ones that shouldn't be there.
One thing I tried was \parskip -5pt.  This helped but are a few instances
where the student "forgot" to add the \\.  So is there any way to nullify
the effect of \\ when it is followed by a blank line (or, presumably, a
\par) but still has the correct effect otherwise?

Michael

--
The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in
moral philosophy--the search for a superior moral justification
for selfishness.  --J.K. Galbraith