Is there such a thing as an environment for defining problems? See this picture for an example of what I want to achieve: example problem definition


  • Welcome to TeX.SX! amsthm or ntheorem packages perhaps? Your question is not very precise – user31729 Jul 16 '15 at 17:02
  • Yeah sorry I'm new to latex. And thank you :) I'm just looking for a way to properly format a problem definition like shown in the pic, where I have a problem title, an input and a question, such that the input and the question are aligned as seen above. I tried the algorithm2e package, but it messes up the alignment. – Peter W Jul 16 '15 at 17:16

You can create an unbreakable structure that would set the question:

enter image description here


\newcommand{\problemtitle}[1]{\gdef\@problemtitle{#1}}% Store problem title
\newcommand{\probleminput}[1]{\gdef\@probleminput{#1}}% Store problem input
\newcommand{\problemquestion}[1]{\gdef\@problemquestion{#1}}% Store problem question
  \problemtitle{}\probleminput{}\problemquestion{}% Default input is empty
  \BODY% Parse input
  \begin{tabularx}{\textwidth}{@{\hspace{\parindent}} l X c}
    \multicolumn{2}{@{\hspace{\parindent}}l}{\@problemtitle} \\% Title
    \textbf{Input:} & \@probleminput \\% Input
    \textbf{Question:} & \@problemquestion% Question


  \probleminput{A graph $G = (V,E)$ and a function $f : V \mapsto \mathbb{N}_0$.}
  \problemquestion{Is there an \emph{$f$-factor}, that is, a subgraph $G' = (V,E')$ of~$G$ such that
    $\text{deg}_{G'}(v) = f(v)$ for all $v \in V$?}



The problem environment requests you to use \problemtitle, \probleminput and \problemquestion (in any order) to set the title, input and question statement inside a tabularx.

  • That works just like a charm, thank you very much! – Peter W Jul 16 '15 at 17:30

I wanted precisely what you asked, but framed, and with the opportunity of adding several rows to the table, for example Input, Output, or Instance and Task.

I wrote a solution starting from Werner's code using only tabularx which can produce different looking environments. The environment has an optional argument that can be one of

  • (empty or omitted) no framing around the environment
  • framed a single frame around the environment
  • lined two single horizontal lines above and below the environment
  • doublelined two double horizontal lines above and below the environment

You can type any number of lines with any boldface item on the left:

\begin{problem}[framed]{Title of my problem}
  Task: & Define a new ``problem'' environment. \\
  Problem: & The only keywords you can use to search on Google
    are ``latex'' ``problem'' ``definition'' ``environment''. \\
  Solution: & Be patient.

Example of problem environment

Most of the code is deciding whether the optional argument is empty, framed, lined, or doublelined. Credit to Joseph's answer for being able to use a macro inside the column definition of tabularx. Originally I had written an implementation that relied only on tabularx, but that conflicted with some packages (among which biblatex).

\usepackage{tabularx, environ}


% https://tex.stackexchange.com/a/199244/26355

        \raisebox{-\fboxsep}{\textsc{\Large #2}}%
        \raisebox{-\fboxsep}{\textsc{\Large #2}}%

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.