I have a short description for each of my equations. I want to have them flushleft (similar to the equation numbers which are flushright). How can I do that?

Here is a MWE:

\text{this is my first equation: } z = x
\text{this is my second equation: } z = x+y

And my desired output is like this: enter image description here

  • 2
    Don't. Your readers will be grateful. ;-)
    – egreg
    Commented Jun 17, 2013 at 20:44

2 Answers 2


A regular align with some macro-involvement would obtain the desired result:

enter image description here

\usepackage{amsmath}% http://ctan.org/pkg/amsmath

  & \text{this is my first equation:}  & \cmath{z=x}   & \\
  & \text{this is my second equation:} & \cmath{z=x+y} & \\
  & \text{this is my third equation:} & \lmath{z=x+y}  & \\
  & \text{this is my fourth equation:} & \rmath{z=x+y} & \\
  & \text{this is my last equation:} & z &= x+y

\cmath inserts a zero-width box that is centred. The advantage here is that you maintain the align-like vertical spacing.

I've added \lmath and \rmath for completeness, since \makebox allows for left- and right-aligned boxes. Also, the vertical rule indicates the horizontal alignment with respect to the default align - also supported in the above syntax.


The following example uses environment tabular* to simulate the equations and to achieve the alignment requests:

\noindent A\hfill Z

  @{}l% description
  >{$\displaystyle}c<{$}% simulate displayed equation
  >{\refstepcounter{equation}\thetag\theequation}r@{}% equation number
this is my first equation:& z = x &\\
this is my second equation:& z = x + y &\\

\noindent A\hfill Z


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