This is what I am currently doing with the alignat environment of the amsmath package. But I find the syntax heavy and not very user-friendly. I would like the numbering to be automatic a) ... b) ... c) on each line and that the spacing between the columns is easy to configure.

Is there a package that can automatically align and number a series of calculations with a simple and user-friendly syntax?




& a)\ (+7)+(-12)   \quad&&\quad b)\ (-7)+(+12)    \quad&&\quad c)\ (-7)+(-12) \\   
& d)\ (+9)+(-5)    \quad&&\quad e)\ (-4)+(+10)    \quad&&\quad f)\ (-12)+(-10)\\    
& g)\ (+9)+(-9)    \quad&&\quad h)\ (+12)+(-18)   \quad&&\quad i)\ (-20)+(+16)      

& a)\ (+3)+(-18)   \quad&&\quad b)\ (-7)+(+12)    \quad&&\quad c)\ (-7)+(-12) \\   
& d)\ (+7)+(-5)    \quad&&\quad e)\ (-6)+(+13)    \quad&&\quad f)\ (-12)+(-10)\\    
& g)\ (+9)+(-9)    \quad&&\quad h)\ (+12)+(-18)   \quad&&\quad i)\ (-20)+(+16)      
  • Use enumerate and multicols. Commented May 2, 2021 at 7:35
  • @KimJongUn, multicols will give columns, not rows though. How about tex.stackexchange.com/a/324740/87678 ? Commented May 2, 2021 at 7:36
  • 1
    @DavidPurton: Thank you. I see. Commented May 2, 2021 at 7:38
  • @DavidPurton I feel like task does the job. Can you write a response?
    – AndréC
    Commented May 2, 2021 at 7:39
  • 2
    I can have a go at a comparison later tonight Commented May 2, 2021 at 9:35

3 Answers 3


Here's a go at comparing four different packages. I think I like tasks best.




\section*{A comparison of horizontal list packages}


\texttt{shortlst} has a non-free licence, so you will need to grab it from
CTAN at \url{https://ctan.org/pkg/shortlst}.

Also, it uses the standard \LaTeX{} labels without easy customisation, so you
have to use a hook to redefine them if you want something else.


The width of items is calculated automatically to maximise the number of items
per line, but you can set the item width manually using

  \item $(+7)+(-12)$
  \item $(-7)+(+12)$
  \item $(-7)+(-12)$
  \item $(+9)+(-5)$
  \item $(-4)+(+10)$
  \item $(-12)+(-10)$
  \item $(+9)+(-9)$
  \item $(+12)+(-18)$
  \item $(-20)+(+16)$


\texttt{hlist} seems to work pretty well and his a flexible interface to set
the list parameters. The defaults are not very much like the default \LaTeX{}
lists so I had to fiddle with them a bit.

\sethlist{label sep=0.5em, item offset=2.5em, label width=2em, pre label={},
  label={\emph{\alph{hlisti}})}, label align=right}

  \hitem $(+7)+(-12)$
  \hitem $(-7)+(+12)$
  \hitem $(-7)+(-12)$
  \hitem $(+9)+(-5)$
  \hitem $(-4)+(+10)$
  \hitem $(-12)+(-10)$
  \hitem $(+9)+(-9)$
  \hitem $(+12)+(-18)$
  \hitem $(-20)+(+16)$


\texttt{tasks} seems to be the most actively maintained package and has a good
interface for modifying list settings. Default settings are reasonably close
to the standard \LaTeX{} lists.

\settasks{label=\emph{\alph*}), label-align=right, label-offset=0.5em,

  \task $(+7)+(-12)$
  \task $(-7)+(+12)$
  \task $(-7)+(-12)$
  \task $(+9)+(-5)$
  \task $(-4)+(+10)$
  \task $(-12)+(-10)$
  \task $(+9)+(-9)$
  \task $(+12)+(-18)$
  \task $(-20)+(+16)$


\texttt{multienum} uses a somewhat different interface, but still seems to
work fairly well.

There's no interface to customise labels and spacing though, so need to
redefine things manually. Except I couldn't find an easy way of modifying the
spacing between rows.





  • How to make the decimal separator appear as a comma but be written with a point? For example write 3.2 + 1.5 but display 3,2 + 1,5 ?
    – AndréC
    Commented May 15, 2021 at 8:07
  • @AndréC you should ask a new question for this. Commented May 15, 2021 at 10:01

What about the tasks package?

enter image description here


    \task (+7)+(-12)
    \task (-7)+(+12)
    \task (-7)+(-12)
    \task (+9)+(-5)
    \task (-4)+(+10)
    \task (-12)+(-10)
    \task (+9)+(-9)
    \task (+12)+(-18)
    \task (-20)+(+16)

  • This package is great. But it would be even better if you didn't have to write every item in the math mode. Let it be automatic.
    – AndréC
    Commented May 2, 2021 at 8:20
  • 1
    @AndréC: I just edited my answer to include the item-format=\ensuremath option. If you want all tasks environment in your document to be in math mode automatically, you can use \settasks{item-format = \ensuremath} in the preamble instead.
    – leandriis
    Commented May 2, 2021 at 8:28
  • And if I want to number differently i) ii) or 1) 2) is it possible?
    – AndréC
    Commented May 2, 2021 at 8:42
  • The tasks package offers the label option which is similar to enumitem's label option. For i) ii) use label=\roman*) and for 1) 2) use label=\arabic*).
    – leandriis
    Commented May 2, 2021 at 8:46
  • 2
    It's great. Thanks a lot. This package deserves to be known.
    – AndréC
    Commented May 2, 2021 at 8:49

The last resort, maybe!


    \item $K+i+m$
    \item $J+o+n+g$
    \item $U+n$
    \item $P+e+a+c+e$
    \item $B+e$
    \item $U+p+o+n$
    \item $M+e$
    \item $\cdots$
    \item $\cdots$


enter image description here

  • My handouts consist of an A4 sheet of paper divided into two columns (A5) on a landscape layout with the multicols environment. Is it possible to use your solution in this case?
    – AndréC
    Commented May 2, 2021 at 7:54
  • @AndréC: I think it is always possible to configure my solution to conform to your requirement. Commented May 2, 2021 at 7:58
  • Can you show this in your answer?
    – AndréC
    Commented May 2, 2021 at 8:00
  • @AndréC: Hahaha... :-) Commented May 2, 2021 at 9:20

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