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8.16.1 \item: An entry in a list

Synopsis:

\item text of item

or

\item[optional-label] text of item

An entry in a list. The entries are prefixed by a label, whose default depends on the list type.

Because the optional label is surrounded by square brackets ‘[...]’, if you have an item whose text starts with ‘[’, you have to hide the bracket inside curly braces, as in: \item {[} is an open square bracket; otherwise, LaTeX will think it marks the start of an optional label.

Similarly, if the item does have the optional label and you need a close square bracket inside that label, you must hide it in the same way: \item[Close square bracket, {]}]. See LaTeX command syntax.

In this example the enumerate list has two items that use the default label and one that uses the optional label.

\begin{enumerate}
  \item Moe
  \item[sometimes] Shemp
  \item Larry
\end{enumerate}

The first item is labelled ‘1.’, the second item is labelled ‘sometimes’, and the third item is labelled ‘2.’. Because of the optional label in the second item, the third item is not labelled ‘3.’.


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