# Box for multiple lines and automatic width

I feel this is rather a dumb question, but I could not find an answer. I'm looking for a \parbox without the width parameter, i.e. it should be determinded by its content. And the content is multiple lines. Something like:

       A
I like B , but who cares?
C2


An \mbox or \makebox doesn't allow for line breaks, it seems and a \parbox wants a width parameter. There must be some easy solution for what I want, no?

• Probably varwidth (from the package with the same name) is what you're looking for. Or just a tabular environment. – egreg Jun 29 '14 at 16:40
• Thanks! The tabular in a simple macro works just as I want. :) – cxxl Jun 29 '14 at 17:55

How about a simple tabular?

% arara: pdflatex
\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}

I like \begin{tabular}{l}A\\B\\C2\end{tabular} but who cares?
\end{document}


• Maybe with @{}l!@{} instead of l? – egreg Jun 29 '14 at 18:03
• @egreg yes, that would probably be best :) – cmhughes Jun 29 '14 at 18:08
• @egreg Thank you for the comment; @{}l@{} is just what I needed for text to fit snugly around the tabular. – ShreevatsaR Nov 17 '16 at 3:02

Another simple solution with the stackengine package. The line separator is by default a blank space, but may be changed:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage{fourier, heuristica}

\usepackage{stackengine}

\begin{document}

I like \Centerstack[l]{A B C2} but who cares?

\end{document}


What fun would have make a table or use a package for this? A funnier method:

\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}
I like \rlap{\raisebox{1em}{A}}\rlap{\raisebox{-1em}{C2}}B, but who cares?
\end{document}


In the above example, the width C2 have no effect on the inline text, so the comma is over the number two. If this is a problem, simply do not use \rlap for the the longest row of stacked text:

I like \rlap{\raisebox{1em}{A}}\rlap{B}\raisebox{-1em}{C2}, but who cares?


If rows are multiline paragraphs, simply enclose it in a \parbox. Example:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{lipsum}
\begin{document}
I like \vrule{}
\rlap{\raisebox{1em}{A}}\rlap{B}\raisebox{-1em}{\tiny\parbox[t]{6cm}{\lipsum[2]}}%
, but who cares?
\end{document}