\baselineskip is a length command
which specifies the minimum space between the botton of two successive
lines in a paragraph.
Its value may be automatically reset by LaTeX, for example, by font changes
in the text.
The value used for an entire paragraph is the value
in effect at the blank line or command which ends the paragraph unit.
\baselinestretch scales the value of \baselineskip. Its
default value is 1.0 but it may be reset with a
\renewcommand command. If one wants
to change the spacing in a document one should reset \baselinestretch
and not \baselineskip as the latter may be reset
automatically by LaTeX to account for local variations in the text, but it
is always scaled by the former. In principle, "double spacing" can be obtained
See also: Lengths
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Sheldon Green, email@example.com, 23 Jun 1995.