# Multi-row text comment in align environment

I am wondering what is the best way to make multi-row text comments in the align environment. Here is an example code:

\begin{align*}
\int \left( \frac{x+3}{2}\right) \, dx =& \int \frac{1}{2}(x+3) \, dx & \text{Factoring out a constant.} \\
=& \frac{1}{2} \int (x+3) \, dx & \text{Factoring the constant outside the integral} \\
=& \frac{1}{2}[\frac{1}{2}x^2+3x]+C & \text{Applying the power rule and adding the constant of integration} \\
=& \frac{1}{4}x^2+\frac{3}{2}x+C & \text{Distributing the } \frac{1}{2} \\
=& \frac{x^2+6x}{4}+C& \text{Finding a common denominator} \\
=& \frac{x(x+6)}{4}+C & \text{Factoring out an } x
\end{align*}


I am not very fond of the way the comment is close to the equation in the third line where it says "applying the power rule...", is there any neat way of making a 2 line comment that doesn't look awkward?

Using amsmath package the code:

Method 1:

\begin{align*}
\int \left( \frac{x+3}{2}\right) \, dx
=& \int \frac{1}{2}(x+3) \, dx && \text{Factoring out a constant} \\
=& \frac{1}{2} \int (x+3) \, dx && \text{Factoring the constant outside the integral} \\
=& \frac{1}{2}\left[\frac{1}{2}x^2+3x\right]+C && \text{Applying the power rule and }\\
&  && \text{adding the constant of integration} \\
=& \frac{1}{4}x^2+\frac{3}{2}x+C && \text{Distributing the } \frac{1}{2} \\
=& \frac{x^2+6x}{4}+C && \text{Finding a common denominator} \\
=& \frac{x(x+6)}{4}+C && \text{Factoring out an }
\end{align*}


produces a nice aligned set as seen by: Method 2: Using Barbara Beeton's \parbox suggestion:

\begin{align*}
\int \left( \frac{x+3}{2}\right) \, dx
=& \int \frac{1}{2}(x+3) \, dx && \text{Factoring out a constant} \\
=& \frac{1}{2} \int (x+3) \, dx && \text{Factoring the constant outside the integral} \\
=& \frac{1}{2} \left[ \frac{1}{2}x^2+3x \right]+C && \parbox{5.5cm}{Applying the power rule and
adding the constant of integration} \\
=& \frac{1}{4}x^2+\frac{3}{2}x+C && \text{Distributing the } \frac{1}{2} \\
=& \frac{x^2+6x}{4}+C && \text{Finding a common denominator} \\
=& \frac{x(x+6)}{4}+C && \text{Factoring out an }
\end{align*} • That is a good answer! Why do you insert && before the text comment? Does it have any different effect than just a single ampersand?
– 1028
Jul 24, 2015 at 2:31
• @1028 The use of & and && have different outcomes when using amsmath as given in the documentation ftp.ams.org/pub/tex/doc/amsmath/amsldoc.pdf Jul 24, 2015 at 2:38
• the wide separation between the two lines of the comment makes it look like maybe there is a line of math missing. since the fractions essentially make the relevant equation two lines tall, a small two-line block of text would be appropriate, and can be accomplished by using a \parbox. also, the square brackets are too small in that line, and can be improved by using \Bigl[ and \Bigr] (maybe \bigg would be better; i can't try it out and don't remember the sizes exactly). Jul 24, 2015 at 4:58
• @barbarabeeton The spacing of the equation component and \parbox does blend well Jul 24, 2015 at 6:12
• just one more little suggestion -- the inter-word spaciong would look nicer if you use \raggedright. Jul 24, 2015 at 7:17