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I would like to be be able to add an adjustable-size curly brace (either opening or closing but not both) to ordinary text; for example,

enter image description here

I have searched the archives of this site and found several answers that pertained to numeric text such as equations. I am working with plain text. The best and simplest I could so-far manage is the above output produced by the following code:

\documentclass[12pt]{article}
\usepackage{amsmath}
\begin{document}
\Large
$\left\{\begin{matrix}
$the first sentence$ \\
$the second sentence$ \\ 
$the third sentence$ \\
$the fourth sentence$
\end{matrix}\right.$
\end{document}

Furthermore, I have not been able to produce a similar example with one closing curly brace instead of the one opening brace above. (Also, it appears if one looks closely, that there is a slight break in the above curly brace near its top.)

QUESTION: How may I simply accomplish (for plain text only) either an open curly brace on the left or a closing curly brace on the right of a sequence of sentences without having to use a math pacakge (since I am not working with any equations or numeric text) and produce the brace without any break in it?

Thank you.

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2 Answers 2

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The braces work in math mode, generally conforming to the size of the content by way of \left\{<content>\right. for only an opening brace (or \left.<content>\right\} for only a closing brace).

The slight "break" in the brace of the OP's image is an on-screen artifact associated with the magnification level (it's not really there).

With this approach, stackengine defaults to stacking text. That can be changed with a declaration \stackMath, which is not issued here. Thus, even in math mode, the "stack" defaults to text.

The \Centerstack is a vertically centered "Long" stack, that is, with each row spaced according to a fixed baselineskip (default \normalbaselineskip).

The default stack has center alignment, as shown. An optional argument to \Centerstack of [l] or [r] can change that to left or right.

The [usestackEOL] package option makes the default line break inside the stack to be \\, instead of a simple space .

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[usestackEOL]{stackengine}
\begin{document}
$\left\{
\Centerstack{
the first sentence\\
the second sentence\\
the third sentence\\
the fourth sentence}
\right.$
\end{document}

enter image description here

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  • 1
    Thank you for your answer and detailed explanations,
    – DDS
    Commented Feb 19, 2021 at 1:26
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All you have to do is set the interior structure using a tabular; this will set the contents in text mode rather than math mode (as it would with an array or similar environment):

enter image description here

\documentclass{article}

\begin{document}

$\left\{\begin{tabular}{@{} c @{}}
  the first sentence \\
  the second sentence \\ 
  the third sentence \\
  the fourth sentence
\end{tabular}\right.$

\end{document}

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