When compiling the following code with pdflatex


\item Lorem Ipsum

I get the error

! LaTeX Error: Something's wrong--perhaps a missing \item.

See the LaTeX manual or LaTeX Companion for explanation.
Type  H <return>  for immediate help.
l.5 \item L
           orem Ipsum

What is the reason for this? Can this be solved such that it sets in the expected manner? I already figured out that wrapping a minipage around the itemize inside the hbox works but it depends on being able to determine the correct width of the minipage – which would be \textwidth in the MWE but not in my actual usecase.

  • 4
    You can't use itemize in a \hbox, itemize needs to be able to enter vertical mode, which it can't in a horizontal box, you have to use it in a minipage or \parbox. But you could fake an itemize like appearance with a tabular rather easily.
    – Skillmon
    Jul 1 '20 at 19:25

I'm not sure what your aim is, but you can perhaps use varwidth.



\fbox{% just to show that this grows up to what's needed
Some text
\item Lorem Ipsum
\item Some longer lorem
\end{varwidth}%<--- just because we're in an \fbox


The \fbox around the varwidth is just to show the boundaries of the built box; varwidth builds a minipage.

enter image description here

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