# Multiple alignment in equation spanning multiple lines

I am messing around with some rather long equations and I can't get alignment right. The result I am looking for is this:

As you can see, the equal signs are aligned. Since the second line is rather long, it has been split into two lines and the plus sign in the third line is not aligned with the equal signs above.

I have been trying to reproduce this behaviour with the align and aligned environment, but with no success. I also don't think that the split environment works bacause it doesn't allow for multiple alignment points.

Of course, I could simply use \qquad without worrying about alignment, but it feels like a hack so I would like to avoid it. Do you have any suggestions?

• Yeah, I know there is only one alignment point, but I was trying to align the plus sign with something else on the previous line, say X. I thought about aligning the + with the =, but it didn't seem too great. I will probably do that if I can't find anything neater. Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 10:48
• Aesthetically, I would rather align the final – signs of the last two rows. Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 10:48
• @Bernard yes, that could also work, but how do I do that? Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 10:49
• Use =\begin{aligned}[t] … \end{aligned}. Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 10:52

Two possibilities with aligned:

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage{mathtools}
\begin{document}

\begin{align*}
R(X,Y) e_j&=\nabla_X \nabla_Y e_j - \nabla_Y \nabla_X e_j - \nabla_{[X,Y]} e_j \\
& =\begin{aligned}[t] \bigl( X \omega^i_j(Y) & - Y \omega^i_j(X) - \omega^i_j([X,Y]) \bigr) e_i \\
& + \bigl(\omega^i_k(X) \omega^k_j(Y) - \omega^i_k(Y) \omega^k_j(X) \bigr) e_i
\end{aligned}
\end{align*}

\begin{align*}
R(X,Y) e_j&= \nabla_X \nabla_Y e_j - \nabla_Y \nabla_X e_j - \nabla_{[X,Y]} e_j \\
& =\begin{aligned}[t] \bigl( X \omega^i_j(Y) - Y \omega^i_j(X) & - \omega^i_j([X,Y]) \bigr) e_i \\
{} + \bigl(\omega^i_k(X) \omega^k_j(Y) & - \omega^i_k(Y) \omega^k_j(X) \bigr) e_i
\end{aligned}
\end{align*}

\end{document}


• This worked great, thanks! Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 11:50