# Itemize and curly braces at left

In the following examples,

how can I put the curly braces at the left side?

\begin{itemize}
\item Riemann Sum
\item Trapezoidal Rule
\item
Simpson's 1/3 Rule
$\smash{\left.\rule{0pt}{.5\dimexpr3\baselineskip+2\itemsep+2\parskip}\right\} \text{Newton Cotes formulae of different degrees}}$
\item Simpson's 3/8 Rule
\end{itemize}


BTW, is there any method which avoids using math mode?

I have tried the following which has failed as well:

$\left\{\text{ \begin{itemize} \item item 1 \item item 2 \item item 3 \end{itemize} }\right.$

• The solutions with tikz avoid math mode, but tikz is a big machine too. Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 8:30
• @AndrewSwann, is there any available example? Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 11:18
• tikz code added to answer, but it is not simpler. Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 11:36

You can use a minipage as follows:

\documentclass{article}

\begin{document}

\begin{itemize}
\item Riemann Sum
\item Newton Cotes formulae of different degrees
$$\left\{ \quad \begin{minipage}[c]{0.3\linewidth} \item Trapezoidal Rule \item Simpson's \( 1/3$$ Rule
\item Simpson's $$3/8$$ Rule
\end{minipage}
\right.
\)
\end{itemize}

\end{document}


Alternatively you can use a tabular:

\documentclass{article}

\begin{document}

\begin{itemize}
\item Riemann Sum
\item Newton Cotes formulae of different degrees
$$\left\{ \begin{tabular}{@{\textbullet\enspace}l} Trapezoidal Rule \\ Simpson's \( 1/3$$ Rule \\
Simpson's $$3/8$$ Rule
\end{tabular}
\right.
\)
\end{itemize}

\end{document}


This avoids having to specify the width, but means that you have to provide the itemize-like markup yourself.

As Schweinebacke points out there is also the varwidth environment from the varwidth package, that will replace minipage and you just specify a maximum width. However it behaves slightly differently: the itemize list is now at second level, so by default bullets are replaced by dashes, and there is a considerable left margin indentation. So if want the same type of appearance as before you need to modify the itemize style, e.g. via the enumitem package:

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage{varwidth}
\usepackage{enumitem}

\begin{document}

\begin{itemize}
\item Riemann Sum
\item Newton Cotes formulae of different degrees
$$\left\{ \begin{varwidth}{\textwidth} \begin{itemize}[label=\textbullet,leftmargin=1em] \item Trapezoidal Rule \item Simpson's \( 1/3$$ Rule
\item Simpson's $$3/8$$ Rule
\end{itemize}
\end{varwidth}
\right.
\)
\end{itemize}

\end{document}


If you really want to avoid math mode and use tikz then you can use

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage{tikz}
\usetikzlibrary{decorations.pathreplacing,calc}

\begin{document}

\begin{itemize}
\item Riemann Sum
\item Newton Cotes formulae of different degrees
\begin{tikzpicture}[baseline]
\node[inner ysep=0pt] (A) at (0,0) {
\begin{tabular}{@{\textbullet\enspace}l}
Trapezoidal Rule \\
Simpson's $$1/3$$ Rule \\
Simpson's $$3/8$$ Rule
\end{tabular}};
\draw [decoration={brace,amplitude=0.5em},decorate,thick]
(A.south west) -- (A.north west);
\end{tikzpicture}
\end{itemize}

\end{document}


which is at tabular at heart. In my opinion, the math mode option is easier.

• is there also a possibility which does not require specifying a width? Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 8:34
• @jakun Try varwidth with varwidth instead of minipage. Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 8:37
• A suggestion: Load the amsmath package and wrap the material from \left\{ thru \right. in a \smash[t]{...} macro. This will give tighter spacing between the two "outer" itemize entries.
– Mico
Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 10:44
• @Mico Yes, that would give the posters overlapping layout, but would not be appropriate if the previous line is longer. Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 10:46