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For instance, how do I add a break after the first line in

    a + b = c // what should I add here?
    a = c - b
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up vote 61 down vote accepted

The \[...\] is used to typeset a single equation, not multiple equations.

You need to use an environment that allows for multiple equations. One way is to use gather, but I normally use align, both from the amsmath package:

enter image description here


  • With display math environments if you leave blank lines in between you get additional vertical spacing and the possibility of a page break between a paragraph and following display.
  • If you don't want the equations numbered use the starred versions of the environments: gather* and align*.
  • A really good reference is Herbert Voss's comprehensive review of mathematics in (La)TeX.


    a + b = c \\ 
    a = c - b
With the align environment you can align equations:
    a + b &= c \\
    a &= c - b
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should there be a blank line immediately before your align environment? – cmhughes Feb 29 '12 at 3:19
@cmhughes: Thanks. Have corrected and made a note of it in the solution. – Peter Grill Feb 29 '12 at 3:35

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