\usepackage{amstext, amsmath}
\newcommand{\lcurly}[1]{$\left\{\begin{array}{l}  #1   \end{array} \right.$}
\newcommand{\rcurly}[1]{$\left. \begin{array}{l}  #1   \end{array} \right  \}$}
\newcommand{\slcurly}[1]{$\left\{   \shortstack{#1} \right.$}
\newcommand{\srcurly}[1]{$\left. \shortstack{#1} \right  \}$}

   \lcurly{1 \\ 2} \rcurly{Line 1 \\ Line 2} \vspace{1cm} \\    
   \slcurly{1 \\ 2}  \srcurly{Line 1\\ Line 2} \\

I have a need to create curly brackets, I managed to do that with above shown code. I am attaching a screenshot. When I use array the text is evenly distributed vertically but the bracket appears little bit farther. When I change array to stack the bracket appears closer but the text is not nicely aligned.

I was wondering if there is way to align the text as shown in the top image and make the bracket appear close like shown in the second part of the image. Thanks for your helpalt text

3 Answers 3


A quick fix would be to insert just some negative space before respectively after the array:

  \begin{array}{l}  #1   \end{array} \right.$}
  \begin{array}{l}  #1   \end{array}\hspace{-0.5em}\right  \}$}

In cases such as your second example \vcenter comes handy to vertically center objects:

\newcommand{\srcurly}[1]{$\left.\vcenter{\hbox{$\shortstack{#1}$}}\right \}$}

alt text

  • 2
    Why not use \begin{array}{@{}l} and \begin{array}{l@{}}?
    – TH.
    Commented Jan 16, 2011 at 4:39
  • @TH.: Why not make an answer out of that? Commented Jan 16, 2011 at 10:03
  • @Hendrik: It'd be only a minor modification of Stefan's answer. I'm also not really sure I understand the use of this anyway. If the top line for the \lcurly is larger than the top line for the \rcurly, they're not going to match up. Something more like \newcommand\curly[1]{\ensuremath{\left\{\begin{array}{@{}ll@{}}#1\end{array}\right\}}} makes more sense to me.
    – TH.
    Commented Jan 16, 2011 at 10:11
  • @TH.: Makes more sense to me, too. Why not write that in your answer :-)? (stortstack even gives bad alignment of the text ...) Commented Jan 16, 2011 at 10:15

Per Hendrik's prodding =) here's how I would do this.

\curly{1 & \text{Line 1}\\
       2 & \text{Line 2}}

alt text

This has the advantage of keeping the lines aligned even if one part is larger than the others. My picture doesn't show it, but it also lines the vertical center of the array up with about half the x-height of the surrounding text. (TeX by Topic informs me that it's “\fontdimen22 of the font in family 2, the symbol font, in the current style,” just in case you were curious.)


This seem to work also:

{\Schema[close]{0ex}{2ex}{\schemabox{1 Line 1\\2 Line 2}}

enter image description here

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