# A simple way to flush right, flush left and center in the same line

What is the simplest way to flushleft, flushright and to center in the same line (preferably without using special environments such as tables or arrays) . Based on the question, I tried the following.

But the problem is that I would like that the place of blablablablablablablablabla be exactly at the middle of the page, which is not fulfilled by the below solution.

\documentclass{article}
\title{T} \date{}
\begin{document}
\maketitle
\noindent
ABC \hfill blablablablablablablablabla \hfill Spring 1985-86\\
\end{document}


using \makebox or \rlap is simple if you know there is no possibility of overlap but for longer texts, suitably sized parboxes can work well:

\documentclass{article}

\begin{document}

\noindent
\parbox[t]{.2\textwidth}{\raggedright
some text some text some text}\hfill
\parbox[t]{.55\textwidth}{\centering
some text some text some text
some text some text some text
}\hfill
\parbox[t]{.2\textwidth}{\raggedleft
some text some text some text}%

\end{document}

\documentclass{article}
\title{T} \date{}
\begin{document}
\maketitle
\noindent
\makebox[0pt][l]{ABC}\hfill\makebox[0pt]{blablablablablablablablabla}\hfill%
\makebox[0pt][r]{Spring 1985-86}\\
\end{document}


As frougon notes, the \makebox in the center text is not needed (though see David's comment as to how it differs in the "error" case where the center content is too long):

\noindent
\makebox[0pt][l]{ABC}\hfill blablablablablablablablabla\hfill%
\makebox[0pt][r]{Spring 1985-86}\\


One could also use \centerline:

\noindent
\makebox[0pt][l]{ABC}%
\centerline{blablablablablablablablabla}%
\makebox[0pt][r]{Spring 1985-86}\\


For completeness, I show it here with \usepackage[pass,showframe]{geometry} added.

• You've been faster than me. :) The \makebox[0pt]{...} is not necessary for the centered chunk (blablablablablablablablabla here). – frougon Jun 26 '18 at 11:15
• @frougon I was just about to note that. – Steven B. Segletes Jun 26 '18 at 11:15
• @frougon the behaviour though is different in the error case where bla... is too long with makebox it stays centred and overprints which may be more understandable than the behaviour if it wraps, putting the two hfill in different lines so centring is lost – David Carlisle Jun 26 '18 at 11:21
• @DavidCarlisle I was thinking of noting that too! :^) But I'll instead let your comment do it for me. – Steven B. Segletes Jun 26 '18 at 11:23
• In Latex, do not think typesetting as in lines, but rather in boxes. – rexkogitans Jun 26 '18 at 14:50

With \rlap and \llap (or \mathrlap and \mathllap from mathtools) if you have maths formulæ). Two posssible codes:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[showframe]{geometry}
\title{T} \date{}

\begin{document}

\maketitle

\noindent
\rlap{ABC} \hfill blablablablablablablablabla \hfill \llap{Spring 1985-86}

\bigskip

\noindent
\makebox[\linewidth][s]{\rlap{ABC} blablablablablablablablabla \llap{Spring 1985-86}}

\end{document}


I have used this in a number of places in which the center item might be too long and so overprint the left and/or right text. This is not quite 'simple' but it is useful.

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage{calc}
\usepackage{ifthen}

\newsavebox{\leftbox}
\newsavebox{\centerbox}
\newsavebox{\rightbox}
\newlength{\testln}
\newlength{\testwd}

\newcommand{\entry}[3]{%
\sbox{\leftbox}{#1}
\sbox{\centerbox}{#2}
\sbox{\rightbox}{#3}
\def\tmp{0pt}%
\ifthenelse{\lengthtest{\wd\leftbox>\wd\rightbox}}% Which is longer, left or right?
{\setlength{\testln}{\widthof{\usebox{\leftbox}}}}
{\setlength{\testln}{\widthof{\usebox{\rightbox}}}}
\setlength{\testwd}{(\textwidth - \wd\centerbox)/2-\testln}%
\ifdim\testwd<1em\def\tmp{\baselineskip}\fi %% 1 em is the minimum separation from right/left text; change to suit.
\noindent
\makebox[\textwidth]{%
\makebox[0pt][l]{\usebox{\leftbox}}%
\hfill
\raisebox{-\tmp}{\usebox{\centerbox}}%
\hfill
\makebox[0pt][r]{\usebox{\rightbox}}%
}%
}

\begin{document}

\entry{Left}{Center is actually quite long and would overprint}{Right xx xx xx xx yyy yy}

\bigskip

\entry{Left}{$x^2+y^2=z^2$}{Right xx xx xx xx yyy yy}

\end{document}


Update: I simplified the math of \setlength{\testwd}... a bit and removed \makebox[0pt]... in placing the centered text (not needed).