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The following code

\begin{equation}
    \begin{dcases}
        u = \frac{\sqrt{2}}{2}(i+j)\\
        v = k
    \end{dcases}
\end{equation}  

results in the following display
Go home, equation, you're ugly.
that I find particularly disgraceful. Is there a way to lower the brace to make it look more like this
Much better-looking equation
?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

You can "smash" the fraction from the top using \smash[t]. Like this:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{mathtools}
\begin{document}

\begin{equation}
    \begin{dcases}
        u = \smash[t]{\frac{\sqrt{2}}{2}(i+j)}\\
        v = k
    \end{dcases}
\end{equation}  

\end{document}

The command \smash[b] would be useful for the last line.


Workaround: since I don't suppose you need it regularly, a manual tweak suggested by egreg is possible. Here, we increase the vertical space above the equation, and by grouping we ensure that the effect will be local.

\begingroup\addtolength{\abovedisplayskip}{4pt}\begin{equation}
    \begin{dcases}
        u = \smash[t]{\frac{\sqrt{2}}{2}}(i+j)\\
        v = k
    \end{dcases}
\end{equation}\endgroup
share|improve this answer
    
Works like a charm. Thanks a lot. –  Evpok Dec 9 '12 at 21:04
3  
This has some small inconveniences: the vertical placement of the equation will not take into account the smashed fraction, so it can end too near the preceding line. –  egreg Dec 9 '12 at 21:04
    
@egreg Actually, the [t] option only smashes the top part, so there is no such issue. –  Evpok Dec 9 '12 at 21:12
    
@Evpok The issue is there: the square root is placed too near the line preceding the display, for my tastes. –  egreg Dec 9 '12 at 21:22
    
@egreg Oh, sorry, I misread your comment. Reader from the future: the aforementionned chat is at chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/7199794#7199794 –  Evpok Dec 9 '12 at 21:59

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