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After reading Org Mode Syntax, my understanding is that blank lines in the content section under a heading are used syntactically to separate paragraphs and that each blank line "belongs" to the paragraph above it.

Paragraph-separating lines are usually the only blank lines that I use in my org files, and I would like to find a way to control the height of those lines in the GUI version of emacs.

It appears from my research that a font change to a smaller max-height font would be necessary to accomplish this, since line spacing functions only allow the user to add space between lines, not subtract it: reducing space between lines in emacs.

Can anyone suggest a function that could accomplish this and explain where to hook it?

The control flow that I'm imagining here to insert a half-height line of inter-paragraph spacing would probably look something like this:

Detect 2 carriage returns.

Check context:  underneath a paragraph of text under a heading?  

If yes:

Move up a line.

Change font for that line to a smaller max-height font (say 50% of buffer font)

Move down a line.

Revert to original buffer font.

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Point of order: you don’t change the font of a line, you change the face of one or more characters. In this case, you want to find the newline character for the empty line in question, and change the face used to display it. This is the face that determines how much space the newline occupies.

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