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Below, how would I move the first math-line left so that a^2 left-aligns with where?

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[fleqn]{amsmath}
\begin{document}
\setlength{\parindent}{0pt}

Some text
\begin{equation}
    \begin{split}
        a^2+\lambda_\phi=\phi\\ 
        \begin{aligned}
            \text{where\qquad}
            a &= \pm \sqrt{1-\cos^2\theta} \\
            \lambda_\phi &= \cos\theta\cos\phi - \sin\theta\sin\phi
        \end{aligned}
    \end{split}
\end{equation}
Some more text

\end{document}

enter image description here

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

aligned starts with a thinspace, so you need to compensate with a negative thin space \! as well as adding appropriate alignment points:

Sample output

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[fleqn]{amsmath}
\begin{document}
\setlength{\parindent}{0pt}

Some text
\begin{equation}
    \begin{split}
        &a^2+\lambda_\phi=\phi\\ 
        &\!\begin{aligned}
            \text{where\qquad}
            a &= \pm \sqrt{1-\cos^2\theta} \\
            \lambda_\phi &= \cos\theta\cos\phi - \sin\theta\sin\phi
        \end{aligned}
    \end{split}
\end{equation}
Some more text

\end{document}
share|improve this answer

Without PSTricks.

enter image description here

\documentclass[preview,border=12pt]{standalone}
\usepackage[fleqn]{amsmath}
\begin{document}
\setlength{\parindent}{0pt}

Some text
\begin{equation}\!
\begin{aligned}
&a^2+\lambda_\phi=\phi\\ 
&\text{where}\ \!   
    \begin{aligned}[t]
        a &= \pm \sqrt{1-\cos^2\theta} \\
        \lambda_\phi &= \cos\theta\cos\phi - \sin\theta\sin\phi
    \end{aligned}
\end{aligned}
\end{equation}
Some more text

\end{document}
share|improve this answer
\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[fleqn]{amsmath}
\begin{document}
\setlength{\parindent}{0pt}

Some text

    \begin{equation}
        \begin{split}
            \begin{aligned}
    a^2+\lambda_\phi=\phi\\ 
                \text{where\qquad}
                a &= \pm \sqrt{1-\cos^2\theta} \\
                \lambda_\phi &= \cos\theta\cos\phi - \sin\theta\sin\phi
            \end{aligned}
        \end{split}
    \end{equation}
    Some more text

Or :-)

{\arraycolsep0.6pt
\begin{equation}
    \begin{array}{lrl}
\multicolumn{3}{l}
{a^2+\lambda_\phi=\phi}\\ 
\mbox{where\qquad}&
            a &{}= \pm \sqrt{1-\cos^2\theta} \\
       &     \lambda_\phi &{}= \cos\theta\cos\phi - \sin\theta\sin\phi
\end{array}
\end{equation}}
    \end{document}

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks. But it won't work if the first line is just a bit longer. The alignment is also not 100% – Frank Seifert Apr 22 '13 at 19:10

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