# breaking lines in a matrix/array environment

I have a matrix whose entries are quite long and must be broken up across multiple lines. The desired break-points are the + operators separating terms in each matrix element. The following code is illustrative of the problem I face: the + operators in the second line of each matrix element appear as unary rather than binary operators. Can this be changed? \documentclass{article}
\usepackage{amsmath}
\begin{document}
$\begin{bmatrix} a + b & e + f \\ +c + d & +g + h \\[6pt] i + j & m + n \\ +k + l & +o + p \\ \end{bmatrix}$
\end{document}


I would most prefer if each term was aligned vertically with the corresponding term below it (e.g., a+b in vertical alignment with c+d), with the additional + sign to the left, and properly spaced from the ensuing c (i.e., subjected to the spacing that is accorded to binary operators).

Also, as a means of clarifying that the top two lines and bottom two lines separately constitute single rows, I introduced whitespace between lines 2 and 3 by adding [6pt] after the closing \\ of the second matrix line). Is there a better way to selectively introduce whitespace?

Lastly, is there a more automated way to achieve line-breaking in a matrix environment, compared to my manual separation of long lines across \\ separators? Thanks.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{mathtools}

\begin{document}
$\begin{bmatrix*}[r] a + b & e + f \\ {}+c + d & {}+g + h \\[6pt] i + j & m + n \\ {}+k + l & {}+o + p \\ \end{bmatrix*}$
\end{document} • Indeed, right alignment is neater method than using phantoms. Mar 13, 2012 at 16:35

To change an operator from unary to binary, put an empty group before it, e.g. {}+c+d. You could use the \phantom command to get the vertical alignment right: \phantom{{}+{}}a+b see section 3.7.1 of the Not so short introduction to LaTeX.

• Ah, I just came across the phantom operator before you posted this, and it solves the alignment issue. However, I was using \phantom{+} rather than \phantom{{}+} (I wasn't aware of how to change unary to binary operators). Many thanks for both solutions. Mar 13, 2012 at 16:27