I'm using \underbrace{}_\text{} to explain the meaning of a variable: equation using underbrace As you can see in the image, underbrace pushes the equations aside to make space for the text. I would like to get something like this instead: enter image description here

Question: Is it possible to remove this pushing behavior to get the desired result?

Thanks for helping! :D


Yes, there is a way: you can use \makebox[0pt] and the relevant text size (\footnotesize or scriptsize), or \clap, defined in mathtools. Using some code in mathtools, we can define an \EV and a \given commands for the expected value of a random variable, which has variable-sized delimiters:




\[ \EV{R_{i, t}\given I_{t-1}} = γ_{0,t-1} + \underbrace{\gamma_{0,t-1}}_{\makebox[0pt]{\footnotesize conditional market risk premium}}β_{i, t-1} \]%
\[ \EV[\big]{R_{i, t}\given I_{t-1}} = γ_{0,t-1} + \underbrace{\gamma_{0,t-1}}_{\clap{\scriptsize conditional market risk premium}}β_{i, t-1} \]%


enter image description here

  • Works perfectly! For future reference: \footnotesize makes the text have the same size as footnotes, if you remove it you get a bigger text underneath the equation; \makebox creates a box to contain text. – Guilherme Salomé Oct 15 '16 at 17:56
  • 1
    I don't think a bigger size is advisable here. Actually, maths in underbrace is typed in scriptstyle, so text might even be typed in \scriptsize. – Bernard Oct 15 '16 at 18:24

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