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Illustration of how you can enter a formula on two or more lines

The purpose of this example is to illustrate how you can enter a formula like this:

which on this page will be written as below:

F   =   a + b + c + d + e + f + g + h + i +
               j + l + m + n + o

I.e. a formula that's to big for one line so you have to put it on two. This example assumes that you use the cua.bind-layout.


  • Start a new math-inset by pressing S-C-m.
  • Type F=a+b+c+d+e+f+g+h+i+ to enter the first line. It should look like this: F = a + b + c + d + e + f + g + h + i +|
where '|' indicates the position of the cursor.
  • Now press C-Enter. This will move the cursor to between the 'F' and the '=', like this: F | = a + b + c + d + e + f + g + h + i +
Note that the cursor has moved and the space around the equal sign has increased. You have actually changed into a new math-mode where you can enter equations over several lines.
  • Now press End twice to move the cursor to the rightmost position, i.e. like this:
F   =   a + b + c + d + e + f + g + h + i +|
  • Now press C-Enter to add a second line (which will contain three empty blue boxes) and Down to move the cursor down.
F   =    a + b + c + d + e + f + g + h + i +
  • Finally type j + l +m + n + o and you are done. The result should look like this:


If you have an object that is within big brackets and it needs to span two lines, e.g. something like this:

F   = (a+b+c+d+e+

Then, you could use the math-panel to insert a special pair of brackets. On the upper line, you insert a pair of brackets where the right side is empty, and on the lower line you insert a pair of brackets where the left side is empty. The result would look like this:

  • Herbert pointed out that this approach can look ugly because the parenthesis are of different size...

One solution is to insert a \vphantom{} like this

which amounts to making the parenthesis big enoug to cover an 'A' on both lines. See FAQ.Unsorted#phantom for some more information.

Related material

Math mode


Feel free to discuss or comment this example here.


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Page last modified on 2008-06-14 02:17 UTC