I want to create a list of two items, labeled (1) and (2), with a $\star$ tagged to the left, and centered vertically in between the (1) and (2). If I use the following:

(1)&stuff here\\
(2)&more stuff here

Then the star is immediately to the left of the (1). How can I move that star down a bit, so as to seem like the whole list is labeled star, as opposed to just item (1).

I'm open to using enumerate/aligned/equation environments as well if that would be better. Thanks!


Make the inner construction inside an array, which boxes it into a single entry:

enter image description here


  \renewcommand{\arraystretch}{1.2}% Spread out array rows
  \begin{array}{c @{\quad} l}
    (1) & \text{stuff here} \\
    (2) & \text{more stuff here}


Some adjustments, if needed:

  • \quad is the space between the entries;
  • c l is the column specification for the left (numbered) and right (textual) columns;
  • \arraystretch greater than 1 gives a little air between the array rows.

Caveat: array's interior is not set in \displaystyle, so you may have to force this explicitly if your construction contains something that is set differently under that style.

You would obtain a similar output if you'd used aligned (and there's also alignedat for multiple alignment points):

    (1) &\quad \text{stuff here} \\
    (2) &\quad \text{more stuff here}
  • I'd prefer alignedat probably. Surely not array (it doesn't use \displaystyle). – egreg May 17 '14 at 20:07
  • @egreg: Thanks. Forgot about that. I've added it as a caveat. – Werner May 17 '14 at 20:18

Here's an alternative, using tabstackengine. The gap between the items is defined by \setstacktabulargap{length}, and the inter-row skip is defined by \setstackgap{L}{length}. In this case, I \rlaped the star, so that it did not affect the centering. I found the \hfil approach easier in this case, because \centering redefines \\, which concomitantly requires an alternative stacking end-of-line character to be used.

(1)& stuff here\\
(2)& more stuff here

enter image description here

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