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I need to type a paper for a teacher, who hasn't seen the European division method, so that she could possibly use it in her curriculum.

I need something to look like this

x^2+4x+4       Box(x+2) 
-(x^2 + 2x)
-(2x + 4)
share|improve this question
Welcome to TeX.SE. – Peter Grill Nov 9 '12 at 1:38
I am not sure what the Box(x+2) means. – Peter Grill Nov 9 '12 at 1:45
“European division” is unknown to me. I guess you meant en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polynomial_long_division – Speravir Nov 9 '12 at 2:28
Great picture IMHO: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Beispiel_Polynomdivision.png – Speravir Nov 9 '12 at 2:49
Did you perchance mix up the words "European" and "Euclidean"? – Federico Poloni Nov 10 '12 at 10:04
up vote 9 down vote accepted

Here is one way to do this:

enter image description here


  • The booktabs package was used to provide flexible horizontal rules.
  • The \Ph macro uses \hphantom{)} to insert a horizontal space equivalent to the closing bracket to get things all aligned.


$\begin{array}{r@{} r@{} r r}
  x^2 &{}+4x\Ph&{}+4\Ph       &\fbox{$(x+2)$} \\
-(x^2 &{}+ 2x) &\\
      & 2x\Ph &{}+4\Ph\\
      &-(2x\Ph &{}+4) \\
      & &0\Ph
share|improve this answer
Thanks but how do I get an actual box for the x+2? I really appreciate your help. My gratitude. – Person Nov 9 '12 at 1:46
@Person: Use \boxed{($x+2$)} with amsmath loaded. – Harish Kumar Nov 9 '12 at 1:48
@HarishKumar: I was not aware of \boxed, but that seems to force the text inside the box to be in \text mode somehow even with $ $, so used \fbox instead. – Peter Grill Nov 9 '12 at 1:53
@PeterGrill: \boxed is defined by amsmath for mathmode. There is a similar \Aboxed in mathtools. If you use \boxed{(x+2)}, then it will be in mathmode. Don't use $. – Harish Kumar Nov 9 '12 at 2:17
@HarishKumar: Thanks. I am familiar with \Aboxed form my very first question posted on TeX.SE. But, am surprised that \boxed{$(x+2)$} compiled with x in text mode -- seems like a bug? – Peter Grill Nov 9 '12 at 2:43

Try looking at the package polynom.sty (CTAN, TeXdoc). It can even do the division for you.

share|improve this answer
For an example, see tex.stackexchange.com/a/79222/586 – Torbjørn T. Nov 10 '12 at 8:00

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