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:

$the first sentence$ \\
$the second sentence$ \\ 
$the third sentence$ \\
$the fourth sentence$

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.


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 .

the first sentence\\
the second sentence\\
the third sentence\\
the fourth sentence}

enter image description here

  • 1
    Thank you for your answer and detailed explanations, Feb 19 '21 at 1:26

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



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


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