# A complement to \smash, \llap, and \rlap

Alexander R. Perlis.

A complement to \smash, \llap, and \rlap.

TUGboat
22
(2001),

350–352.

In both plain TeX and LaTeX, most local alignment issues are addressed
using \smash, \phantom, \vphantom, \hphantom, \llap, and \rlap. (LaTeX
also provides \makebox. All these macros are reviewed in this article.)
However, conspicuously missing is a horizontal version of \smash, which
is necessary, for example, to eliminate the excessive whitespace
surrounding some large operators.
Another snag: whereas \smash and \phantom behave
as expected in both horizontal mode and math
mode, \llap, \rlap, and \makebox are not suited
for use in math mode.
This article introduces the macro \clap (simultaneously
a centered version of \llap/\rlap and a
horizontal version of \smash), and the three macros
\mathllap, \mathrlap, and \mathclap (versions of
\llap, \rlap, and \clap designed for math mode).
Examples involving large operators, polynomial long division,
and commutative diagrams are given.

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A complement to \smash, \llap, and \rlap.

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