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Custom alignment of columns in align environment



\dfrac{1}{a} = a ^ {-1} \\
\dfrac{1}{b} = b ^ {-1} \\
\dfrac{1}{c} = c ^ {-1} \\
\dfrac{1}{d} = d ^ {-1} \\
\dfrac{1}{e} = e ^ {-1}

Some of the equations could fit on the first page. How can I accomplish that?

  • 1
    \displaybreak? – egreg May 25 '12 at 17:21
  • 4
    \allowdisplaybreaks -- see mathmode – Marco Daniel May 25 '12 at 17:22
  • 1
    @Marco Although the solution to the linked question is the same, there's no mention of gather in that question, so I'm not sure this one should be closed. This question is also a simpler one, so it would be useful to have an answer to it. – Alan Munn May 25 '12 at 18:09
  • @MarcoDaniel While \allowdisplaybreaks does the job, it acts "globally" and the finer control that can be achieved with \displaybreak can give better results in the final revision of an important document. – egreg May 25 '12 at 21:37
  • @egreg: I know -- but you mention displaybreak and I allowdisplaybreaks. The mention document mathmode finished it. – Marco Daniel May 26 '12 at 7:40

To quote from p. 6 of the amsmath user guide (note that gather is an environment provided by the amsmath package):

When the amsmath package is in use page breaks between equation lines are normally disallowed; the philosophy is that page breaks in such material should receive individual attention from the author. To get an individual page break inside a particular displayed equation, a \displaybreak command is provided. \displaybreak is best placed immediately before the \\ where it is to take effect. Like LATEX’s \pagebreak, \displaybreak takes an optional argument between 0 and 4 denoting the desirability of the pagebreak. \displaybreak[0] means "it is permissible to break here" without encouraging a break; \displaybreak with no optional argument is the same as \displaybreak[4] and forces a break.

If you prefer a strategy of letting page breaks fall where they may, even in the middle of a multi-line equation, then you might put \allowdisplaybreaks[1] in the preamble of your document. An optional argument 1–4 can be used for finer control: [1] means allow page breaks, but avoid them as much as possible; values of 2,3,4 mean increasing permissiveness. When display breaks are enabled with \allowdisplaybreaks, the \\* command can be used to prohibit a pagebreak after a given line, as usual.

  • 3
    "the\\* command can be used to prohibit a pagebreak after a given line" - the beauty of TeX.SX: be prepared to learn something new from each sentence, even the final oh-I-nearly-forgot-to-mention subclause. – bers Feb 1 '17 at 13:31

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