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x & := & \phantom{ a + } b + c\\
y & := & a \phantom{ + b } + c\\
z & := & a + b \phantom{ + c }

I get

some not quite beautiful equation array

which is not quite what I hoped for as my "phantoms" don't take as much space as expected.

How can I correct this?


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up vote 8 down vote accepted

In the final part of the first row, try \phantom{a+{}}b+c to make the first plus sign act like a "real" math-binary element. Similarly, you'll also need to adjust the second row to a\phantom{{}+b}+c.

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Works like magic. Thanks a lot! – j.p. Aug 18 '11 at 12:58
You're welcome! Note that I added to my post to provide code for the second line. – Mico Aug 18 '11 at 13:01
Seeing the first line, I was able to guess the 2nd line. Thanks again! – j.p. Aug 18 '11 at 13:03
@jug: I guess you then also figured out how to modify the 3rd line! :-) – Mico Aug 18 '11 at 14:00

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