In this minimal working example,


\begin{equation} \lambda =  \begin{tikzpicture}
\draw(1cm,0) -- (2cm,0);
\draw(2cm,0) -- (3cm,0);
\node[below]at(2cm,0){\scriptsize $\alpha_2$};
\end{tikzpicture} \end{equation}


how can I align horizontally lambda and the lines in the tikzpicure? (equation (1) in the picture.)

If I remove the line

\node[below]at(2cm,0){\scriptsize $\alpha_2$};

or put [above] in place of [below], then everything is aligned as I want (equations (2) and (3) in the picture), but I want to keep the node below. Also, I would not want to put lambda inside the tikzpicture.

aling horizontally equation (1)

Thank you.

  • The problem is that in the theory I am writing about, \node[above] has different meaning than \node[below]. Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 14:52

1 Answer 1


You can use the half of the height of the node content (roughly) to adjust the baseline


\lambda =  \begin{tikzpicture}[baseline={(0,{-0.5*height("$\alpha_2$")*1pt})}]
\draw(1,0) -- (3,0) node[below,midway]{$\scriptstyle\alpha_2$};
\draw[fill=white]foreach\x in{1,2,3}{(\x cm,0)circle(.06cm)};


enter image description here

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