Piecewise Functions
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# Basic Commands

The array command in combination with the \left and \right commands provides an easy way to typeset piecewise-defined functions. Here is some sample code followed by the output:

$$f(x) = \left\{ \begin{array}{ll} -x & \quad x \leq 0 \\ x & \quad x > 0 \end{array} \right.$$

The result is:(1)
\begin{align} f(x) = \left\{ \begin{array}{ll} -x & \quad x \leq 0 \\ x & \quad x > 0 \end{array} \right. \end{align}

The arguments to the array command are ll, indicating two cells that are left-aligned. Other options here include c, for center-aligned, and r for right-aligned. The \quad command adds in some additional spacing between the definition and the inequalities.