# Is coding multi-line curly braces in text mode possible?

I need to typeset the following document:

I have coded the following

\documentclass[french, a4paper, 10pt]{book}
\usepackage[french]{babel}
\usepackage{fontspec}
\begin{document}
\setlength{\tabcolsep}{1em}
\scriptsize

\section*{\centering \small\sc Tableau des principaux champignons comestibles de france}
\begin{center}
\rule{2cm}{0.4pt}
\end{center}
\subsection*{\centering \small\sc Basidiomycètes}
\bigskip
\bigskip
\begin{tabular}{llll}
{\sc Hyménomycètes}\dotfill &
\begin{tabular}{lll}
\textit{Agaricinées}  &
\begin{tabular}{ll}
Spores blanches\dotfill &
\begin{tabular}{l}
Amanita     \\
Lepiota     \\
Armilliaria \\
Tricholoma  \\
Clitocybe   \\
Collybia    \\
Pleurotus   \\
Hygrophorus \\
Cantharellus\\
Lactarius   \\
\\
\end{tabular}             \\[3em]

Spores roses   \dotfill    &
\begin{tabular}{l}
Volvaria    \\
Pluteus     \\
Entoloma    \\
Clitopilus  \\
\\
\end{tabular}             \\[2em]

Spores ocracées\dotfill &
\begin{tabular}{l}
Cortinarius \\
Paxillus    \\
\\
\end{tabular}            \\[2em]

Spores pourpres\dotfill &
\begin{tabular}{l}
Psalliota   \\
\\
\end{tabular}            \\[2em]

Spores noires\dotfill   &
\begin{tabular}{l}
Coprinum    \\
\\
\end{tabular}            \\[2em]

\end{tabular}                                      \\

\textit{Polyporées}   &  \begin{tabular}{ll}
.......       ....... & ......   .......         \\
.......       ....... & ......   .......         \\
.......       ....... & ......   .......         \\
\end{tabular}                                    \\

\textit{Hydnées}      &  \begin{tabular}{ll}
.......       ....... & ......   .......         \\
.......       ....... & ......   .......         \\
.......       ....... & ......   .......         \\
\end{tabular}                                    \\
\end{tabular}                                                            \\
\end{tabular}

\end{document}

The above code compiles without errors using xelatex and correctly outputs an abridged version of the page I am trying to typeset but it misses the curly braces.

I have been trying to add

$\left\{ ... \right.$

and many variations thereof in many different places without success.

Is typesetting this via latex at all possible? Is switching to math mode imperative or is there any way I could create the curly braces without switching to math mode? I anything wrong with the method I adopted? Is there a "better way"?

• Welcome to TeX.SE. – Sebastiano Mar 18 at 21:39

Taking a fresh look at this. I followed advice given by other posters and tried my luck with cases and the schemata package without much luck. I eventually managed to get the solution I had initially tried with nested tables and a switch to math mode to compile without errors but the result is pretty awful where just about everything is misaligned.

Here is an as yet incomplete but very simple and robust solution:

It is missing the braces but I might use it as a replacement since it reflects the original's data content and its structure.

Now I was wondering if I could persuade latex (xelatex) to draw left braces that would scale to occupy the narrow cells numbered 1-8.

One quick DIY style solution consists in drawing them manually using the U+23a7, U+23a8, U+23a9 and U+23aa unicode characters and switching to a font that has the glyphs such as DejaVu.

The problem with this approach is that there will some horizontal alignment issues with the lists that have an even number of items (such as in cells #3 and #4 for instance.Not to mention that the curly braces will not be scaled - ie. they will just be extended by additional U+23aa's but their thickness/weight will all be the same.

Is there any way I can write some code that simply tells Latex: please draw a left/opening curly brace that exactly fills each of these cells and centers it vertically (meaning that the little tit in the middle of the curly brace will be exactly centered) and scales the curly braces in termes of thickness to match the sample I initially posted?

Thanks,

RSF