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I'm trying to make a solution sheet for a student of mine and want to write it in a similar way as I would do when writing per hand. In this case I wanted to have 4 columns of equations (I know that in reality there are 14 columns in the align environment). My code looks like this:


\begin{alignat*}{14} 
    12a     &+ 4b       &&+ c   &&={}& -3   &\qquad&    12a     &+ 2b   &&={}& 0    &\\
    -27a    &- 6b   &&- c       &&={}& 0    &\qquad&    -15a    &- 2b   &&={}& -3   &\\[-1.2em]
    \cline{1-7} \\[-2.5em]
    -15a    &- 2b   &&          &&={}& -3   &\qquad&    -3a     &       &&={}& -3   &\\
            &       &&          &&{}&       &\qquad&            &       &a&={}& -1  &
\end{alignat*}

result without second cline


\begin{alignat*}{14} 
    12a     &+ 4b       &&+ c   &&={}& -3   &\qquad&    12a     &+ 2b   &&={}& 0    &\\
    -27a    &- 6b   &&- c       &&={}& 0    &\qquad&    -15a    &- 2b   &&={}& -3   &\\[-1.2em]
    \cline{1-7} \cline{9-13}\\[-2.5em]
    -15a    &- 2b   &&          &&={}& -3   &\qquad&    -3a     &       &&={}& -3   &\\
            &       &&          &&{}&       &\qquad&            &       &a&={}& -1  &
\end{alignat*}

result with second cline


I want to have \cline{1-7} \cline{9-13} without a line break, I want them to be in the same line. Is that possible with align or alignat?

Furthermore I tried to make a tikz-arrow in a soft S-shape from the end of the last line in column #1 to the start of the second line of column #2, but failed. So if you are skilled with that kind of thing, I'd really appreciate your help! =)

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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I'd use a simple array environment:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{amsmath}

\begin{document}
\[\arraycolsep=1.4pt\def\arraystretch{1.3}
\begin{array}{rcr p{1cm} rcr} 
    12a + 4b + c  &=& -3    &&     12a + 2b  &=&  0 \\
   -27a - 6b - c  &=&  0    &&    -15a - 2b  &=& -3 \\
    \cline{1-3} \cline{5-7}
    -15a - 2b \phantom{\,-\,c\,} &=& -3  & &     -3a  \phantom{\,-\,2b\,} &=& -3  \\
                           & &      &&                     a  &=& -1  
\end{array}
\]

\end{document}

enter image description here

For the arrow you can define two nodes with TikZ or PSTricks.

share|improve this answer
    
Yeah, I thought about using an array but I hoped for an align solution. But I think that's fine! Thank you for your quick response, Herbert! As for the TikZ-Node, I know I need a node, but everytime I try it, it's just a simple straight arrow or it bends over the equation. I couldn't figure out how to make an soft S-like shape... –  Cheesey May 4 at 9:08
1  
I think you can replace \phantom{\,-\,c\,} and \phantom{\,-\,2b\,} with \phantom{{}-c} and \phantom{{}-2b}, respectively. –  Mico May 4 at 10:06
    
That's correct, thank you! =) –  Cheesey May 4 at 10:11
    
@Mico: yes, that's makes more sense. –  Herbert May 4 at 16:10

\cline is not supported by the amsmath environments. \cline ends a line to move back its height. But the ending of the line triggers code in amsmath that is used for measurements etc.

A hacky workaround would be:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{amsmath}

\makeatletter
\newcommand*{\StrutboxHeight}{\ht\strutbox@}
\newcommand*{\StrutboxDepth}{\dp\strutbox@}
\makeatother

\begin{document}
\begin{alignat*}{14}
    12a     &+ 4b       &&+ c   &&={}& -3   &\qquad&    12a     &+ 2b
 &&={}& 0    &\\
    -27a    &- 6b   &&- c       &&={}& 0    &\qquad&    -15a    &- 2b
    -&&={}& -3 & \\
  \noalign{\vskip-\StrutboxHeight}
  \cline{1-7}
  \noalign{\vskip\arrayrulewidth\vskip-\baselineskip}
  \cline{9-13}
  \noalign{\vskip-\StrutboxDepth}
    -15a    &- 2b   &&          &&={}& -3   &\qquad&    -3a     &
    -&&={}& -3 &\\
            &       &&          &&{}&       &\qquad&            &
 &a&={}& -1  &
\end{alignat*}
\end{document}

Result

share|improve this answer
    
You may have some unneeded minus signs in the set of equations on the right. –  Mico May 4 at 10:09
    
This looks also quite nice, and it's still in alignat. I don't like using arrays for equations, but I want to keep my LaTeX file as clean and hackfree as possible. But thanks for your solution as well =) –  Cheesey May 4 at 10:13

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