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I am trying to align some text to left/center/right in the same line. For example, I want to put my phone number on the left, my name in the center, and my email on the right, how do I do that?

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5 Answers

up vote 31 down vote accepted

Using \hfill won't necessarily result in the middle text being centered, as the example below demonstrates. If you want to place the text in such a way that the middle text is really centered, I would suggest using \parboxes, as the example shows (I used the \lipsum[2] command to generate text to be used only as a reference):

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{lipsum}

\newcommand\textbox[1]{%
  \parbox{.333\textwidth}{#1}%
}

\begin{document}

\noindent Left longer sample simple text\hfill Center?\hfill Right

\noindent\textbox{Left longer sample text\hfill}\textbox{\hfil Center\hfil}\textbox{\hfill Right}

\noindent\lipsum[2]

\end{document}

enter image description here

If this construct will be used many times, it would be better to have a command; something along the lines of the \textline command whose definition and use are illustrated in the following example (in which I also incorporated egreg's suggestion about \raggedleft, \centering and \raggedright):

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{lipsum}

\newcommand\textline[4][t]{%
  \par\smallskip\noindent\parbox[#1]{.333\textwidth}{\raggedright\texttt{+}#2}%
  \parbox[#1]{.333\textwidth}{\centering#3}%
  \parbox[#1]{.333\textwidth}{\raggedleft\texttt{#4}}\par\smallskip%
}

\begin{document}

\lipsum[2]
\textline[t]{555\,555\,555}{Some Name}{user@some.site.com}
\lipsum[2]

\end{document}

enter image description here

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This is very clear. Thank you so much. –  LWZ May 12 '12 at 4:07
    
I'd use \raggedright in the left box, \centering in the middle box and \raggedleft in the right box. –  egreg May 12 '12 at 9:51
    
What if any of the parts are wider than 0.333\textwidth? Then it will be wrapped to fit into the \textbox, and everything will not be at the same line anymore. –  StrawberryFieldsForever Jan 17 at 16:51
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The task is accomplished easily with boxes:

\noindent
\makebox[0pt][l]{+999\,555\,999\,555}%
\makebox[\textwidth][c]{Ben Lee User}%
\makebox[0pt][r]{\texttt{ben.l.user@some.site}}

This doesn't check for overlaps, but the chance to getting overlaps is very small.

One macro for it might be

\newcommand{\headerline}[3]{%
  \par\medskip\noindent
  \makebox[0pt][l]{#1}%
  \makebox[\textwidth][c]{#2}%
  \makebox[0pt][r]{\texttt{#3}}\par\medskip}

to be used as

\headerline{+999\,555\,999\,555}{Ben Lee User}{ben.l.user@some.site}

A more efficient (and more obscure) solution

\newcommand{\headerline}[3]{%
\par\medskip\noindent
\makebox[\textwidth][s]{\rlap{#1}\hfill#2\hfill\llap{\texttt{#3}}}%
\par\medskip}
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+1, but wouldn't \rlap and \llap be easier than the outer \makebox's? –  Martin Scharrer May 12 '12 at 10:02
    
@MartinScharrer LaTeX syntax versus Plain. :) –  egreg May 12 '12 at 10:06
    
Are \rlap and \llap considered plain syntax? I didn't know that. –  Martin Scharrer May 12 '12 at 10:07
    
@MartinScharrer They are slightly dangerous because they don't start horizontal mode. –  egreg May 12 '12 at 10:11
2  
@LWZ It's for the cognoscenti. :) Don't worry: use what's documented in the manual (\makebox). When you'll be an expert, you'll know also when to take a shortcut. –  egreg May 12 '12 at 19:21
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Left \hfill Center \hfill Right
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oh, that works! Thanks! –  LWZ May 12 '12 at 3:32
    
If this answers your question, please consider marking it as ‘Accepted’ by clicking on the tickmark below the vote count. This assigns reputation points to the author of the answer (and to you!) Additionally, you can upvote answers (and questions) that you think are good, by clicking the upward-pointing triangle next to the post. –  JohnD May 12 '12 at 3:37
2  
@texasAUtiger \noindent will probably be necessary and you have to be careful with spurious blank spaces. –  Gonzalo Medina May 12 '12 at 3:48
2  
I downvoted this answer because it only centers the center part if the left and the right parts are equally long. If the left part is much longer than the right part, or the other way around, the center part will be way off center. –  StrawberryFieldsForever Jan 17 at 16:54
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Your question sounds to me like you are doing your CV in LaTeX, or something similar. Yet another solution to achieve neat alignment would be to use a table. Using the tabularxpackage, for example, you can stretch a table to the size \textwidth and place each item into its own respective cell.

\documentclass{article} 
\usepackage{float,tabularx}
    \newcolumntype{Y}{>{\raggedleft\arraybackslash}X}
    \newcolumntype{Z}{>{\centering\arraybackslash}X}
\begin{document}

\begin{tabularx}{\textwidth}{X Z Y}
+123 456 789 & Your Name & Your.Name@foobar.com
\end{tabularx}

\end{document}

This produces a table with three identically-spaced columns, stretching in sum to the size of \textwidth. As Z is specified, the content of the cells is also centered. Alternatively, X would left-align and Y right-align. You can use p{1.5cm} or so to have a specific column stretch to a predefined size. As long as you use any of X, Y, Z together with it, the table will stretch to the width of your text margin.

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1  
Did you mean to write X Y Z instead of Z Z Z? Separately, since the material isn't meant to "float" anyway, it seems unnecessary to wrap the tabularx environment in a table[H] environment; prefixing a \noindent instruction before \begin{tabularx}{...}{...} will do the job. –  Mico Jan 5 at 18:41
    
You are also missing an \end{tabularx} –  quinmars Jan 5 at 20:09
    
Thanks for the tip quinmars. Mico, I just wrap a table environment around tabularx to ensure it is placed exactly where it's meant to be, via the float package. –  altabq Jan 6 at 23:39
    
... which sort of makes the whole table environment pointless, as long as you're not adding a caption as well. –  Torbjørn T. Jan 6 at 23:42
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If you want three columns do this:

Left words \hfill Center Words \hfill Right words

or if you only want two columns, do this:

Left words \hfill Right words

Found this solution here: http://www.latex-community.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1086

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duplicate answer with tex.stackexchange.com/a/55474/43175 –  Asis Pattisahusiwa Jun 4 at 2:21
1  
The accepted answer have mentioned that \hfill does not necessarily get the text centered in the middle. –  Jesse Jun 5 at 11:37
    
Yeah, it only puts it perfectly between the left and right parts, not the center of the sentence. If you put it directly in the center of the sentence, it might overwrite part of your left if the left is too long. With \hfill, it intelligently places it between the other two columns. –  Blairg23 Jun 7 at 2:52
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