I am trying to do something like the following:

enter image description here

Does anyone have an example of a technique on how to do this? It needs to be centered in the middle of the paper like the $$ $$ environment and it would be a bonus if it can be labelled and referred to later on.

  • A “real world” example might help: how to manage the text that stands for the usual variables depends on its nature; is it long? Is it just two lines to be centered with respect to each other? – egreg Sep 29 '13 at 10:03

You can set the text inside a regular \parbox:

enter image description here

  \left\{\textbox{2cm}{Here is some regular text}\right\} =
    \left\{\textbox{2cm}{Here is some more regular text}\right\} +
    \left\{\textbox{3cm}{This is the last piece of text in the equation}\right\} \label{eqn:myeqn}

\parbox[<valign>]{<width>}{<stuff>} sets <stuff> in a paragraph box of width <width> and aligned vertically according to <valign> (top, centered or bottom). The use of \struts at the start/end tries to rectify the spacing problem associated with boxing. As reference, see How to keep a constant \baselineskip when using minipages (or \parboxes)?.

The idea behind using a macro called \textbox is an attempt to promote typesetting consistency.

  • Thank you, perfect. If you can spare me some google, what is a "parbox" – masfenix Sep 29 '13 at 4:00
  • @masfenix: I've added some explanation. – Werner Sep 29 '13 at 4:11
  • the first line of the last element is terribly spacy. i think it would look better if the text in the boxes were ragged right or centered. (raggwed2e might be better than "ordinary" ragged right.) – barbara beeton Sep 29 '13 at 14:40

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