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I have an equation using a cases environment, with one case with a long description text:

\begin{eqnarray*}
    \begin{cases}
        1 \text{too long description of the first case,
            not fitting on the page}\\
        0 \text{shorter description}
    \end{cases}
\end{eqnarray*}

The text of the first case is cut of, as it is too long for my page width.

How can I let LaTeX split the line? Using a matrix does not seem like a clean solution to me...

1

1 Answer 1

19

You could use \parbox with top alignment:

\begin{equation*}
    \begin{cases}
        1 & \parbox[t]{.6\textwidth}{too long description of the first case,
            not fitting on the page}\\
        0 & \text{shorter description}
    \end{cases}
\end{equation*}

Further, better avoid the old eqnarray environment. Use align or another multi-line displayed math environment of amsmath. Here, even simply equation* or \[ ... \] would be sufficient, since it's a single line, and also doesn't need alignment. cases within is multi-line, but that doesn't matter for the outer environment.

2
  • thanks, this works well. I changed it to an align environment too (there are more lines in the document, I reduced it for asking here)
    – crater2150
    Jan 23, 2012 at 11:54
  • I had to use columnwidth instead of textwidth, but worked great!
    – Mitar
    Aug 6, 2016 at 6:51

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