Quite often lists in continuous texts are typeset in such a way that the vertical spacing between points is greater than the regular line spacing in the same text. Well, like lists here, at SE:

  • just a sample point,
  • look at this spacing above!

Although list elements are placed on a new line each, they still form a sentence, so increasing spacing between them breaks the logic 'text - paragraph - sentence - word'. Moreover, such lists are significantly less dense with respect to the rest of the text.

What is the goal of additional spacing in this case? Wouldn't it be better to make lists denser, so that text doesn't fall apart?

2 Answers 2


In most cases I prefer to have space before and after the list itself not between the list items. The bullet acts as enough of an indicator to guide the eye from item to item.

That being said, the length of the items is also a consideration. Longer items that run on multiple lines may require less space between them than shorter items.

What I sometimes do, if the list is too cramped is to add an increment of a paragraph space between the items, eg. if space before the list is say 18px, I'll use 9px (or even 3px) between the items.


It allows the user to read list elements individually in a more focused way. You might not be interested in all the list elements but rather quickly scan and stop at the one that matters for you. Making spacing bigger between them allows this.

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