[OS X TeX] Problems customizing report.cls

Daryl Basil Biberdorf darylb at pobox.com
Fri Apr 15 11:37:36 EDT 2005

I'm adapting report.cls to match thesis requirements
where I am.

I'm trying to adjust chapter headings, specifically
the skips before and after. Here's my own .cls file:

   \vspace*{50 \p@}%
   {\parindent \z@ \raggedright \normalfont
     \ifnum \c at secnumdepth >\m at ne
         % dlb SVS thesis center chapter headings
         \begin{center}\huge\bfseries \thechapter \par
         #1 \end{center}
     %\Huge \bfseries #1\par\nobreak
     \vskip 28\p@
     %\vskip 40\p@

My questions:
1. What does \p@ do? I'm just not seeing what this does,
and it's not discussed in the LaTeX Companion. Web searches
are useless thus far.

2. What's the best way to define this to get "3 spaces"
(thesis clerk's text) between chapter heading and the top margin?
I tried replacing the \vspace*{50 \p@} with \vspace*{ 0 \p@} in the
course of working this out, but there's still a big gap. I'm missing
something here. Ideally, the spaces should be expressed, IMHO,
not in terms of absolute spaces but in terms of the \baselineskip
for the document's \normal font. (In my case, that'd be about
14*3 = 42 pt, as I'm using the 12pt class option.)

3. Likewise, what's the best way to get "3 spaces" between chapter
heading and text of the chapter?

I've used LaTeX a lot in the past, but this is the first time
I've had to modify the class file. Thanks for helping the
lost find his way.

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