I'm starting to write in Latex in a more professional way and I'm facing with the following problem:

I want to display this long equation in the more easy reading way:

So I think the best possibilities is the following:

So what's the best way to display this multiple equation? Is there any book which has tips how to display multiple equations in a more easy reading elegant way?

Remark: This question is not about the environments (multline, align, etc.) themselves. Since Latex writers have to deal with this kind of problem quite frequently, maybe some of you have some tips or sources to share.


  • 1
    This seems better suited to math.se since it is not about technical implementation but mathematical notation. Or maybe the typography se as it is more on the design side. But it seems off-topic here unless I've misunderstood.
    – cfr
    Jul 11, 2015 at 20:34
  • See this article tug.org/TUGboat/tb18-3/tb56down.pdf, for example. IMO, non of the above is beautiful, but if you place = 0 below = 3g in the first form, it would be nicer.
    – AboAmmar
    Jul 11, 2015 at 21:12
  • 1
    Actually, I would put the 0 = on the left. Jul 11, 2015 at 21:41

1 Answer 1


The mandatory reference here is Mathematics into Type by Ellen Swanson (the AMS has kindly provided an on-line version here). On page 46, talking about Mathematics in Display, we find

enter image description here

Your equation is too long to fit into one line (at least with the default margins in the standard classes) so we can apply Swanson's advise and I'd say that you have two options, that I show below:

enter image description here

In the first option I followed the alignment suggested in the figure to the right of the second schema; since the expression before the first verb is indeed long, succeeding verbs are indented with a two-em quad indent. The other approach is to reverse the order and start with the zero, using the format presented in the first diagram; this, however, might not be the best approach since it "spoils" the intended implicit expectation that the final result is zero.

As a final remark, let me give some reason why I think both the proposals you made in your question are not convenient: in both cases the blank space to the left of the second line is excessive.

  • OWW!!! Great book, it is exactly I was looking for!
    – user26832
    Jul 12, 2015 at 3:32
  • @user26832 Yes; it's an invaluable resource. Jul 12, 2015 at 3:34
  • I tought my proposals were correct because of this PDF: moser-isi.ethz.ch/docs/typeset_equations.pdf (page 6)
    – user26832
    Jul 12, 2015 at 3:35
  • @user26832 but notice that even in the example on page 6 the space (which is in my opinion still too much) is not as big as in your proposals. I think a better example would be the first example of Section 5.2 First line too long: IEEEeqnarraymulticol on page 12; there the author suggests the same approach as Swanson's recommendation, which I used in my answer. Jul 12, 2015 at 17:01

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