Frequently Asked Question List for TeX

# Really blank pages between chapters

If you’re using the standard classes, you need to take special action; the memoir class and the Koma-Script classes provide their own support for this — see below.

Book (by default) and report (with openright class option) ensure that each chapter starts on a right-hand (recto) page; they do this by inserting a \cleardoublepage command between chapters (rather than a mere \clearpage). The empty page thus created gets to have a normal running header, which some people don’t like.

The (excellent) fancyhdr manual covers this issue, basically advising the creation of a command \clearemptydoublepage:

\let\origdoublepage\cleardoublepage
\newcommand{\clearemptydoublepage}{%
\clearpage
{\pagestyle{empty}\origdoublepage}%
}

The “obvious” thing is then to use this command to replace \cleardoublepage in a patched version of the \chapter command. (Make a package of your own containing a copy of the command out of the class.) This isn’t particularly difficult, but you can instead simply subvert \cleardoublepage (which isn’t often used elsewhere):

\let\cleardoublepage\clearemptydoublepage

Note: this command works because \clearemptydoublepage uses a copy of \cleardoublepage: instructions on macro programming patching techniques explain the problem and why this is a solution.

The emptypage package does this sort of thing for you; all you need do is load the package, and it does the rest.

The KOMA-Script replacements for the book and report classes (scrbook and scrreprt offers class options cleardoubleempty, cleardoubleplain and cleardoublestandard (using the running page style, as normal) that control the appearance of these empty pages. The classes also offer do-it-yourself commands \cleardoubleempty (etc.).

The memoir class (and the nextpage package) provide commands \cleartooddpage and \cleartoevenpage, which both take an optional argument (the first, with no argument, being an equivalent of \cleardoublepage). One can achieve “special” effects by putting commands in the optional argument: the \clearemptydoublepage we’re after would be achieved by \cleartooddpage[\thispagestyle{empty}]. The commands will also serve if you want the surreal effect of “This page intentionally left blank” in the center of an otherwise empty page.

FAQ ID: Q-reallyblank
Tags: structure