The \\ command tells LaTeX to start a new line. It has an optional argument, extra-space, that specifies how much extra vertical space is to be inserted before the next line. This can be a negative amount.

The \\* command is the same as the ordinary \\ command except that it tells LaTeX not to start a new page after the line.

See also Line and Page Breaking
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Revised by Sheldon Green, agxsg@giss.nasa.gov, 5 May 1995.