[Tex/LaTex] How to control enumitem’s description list via leftmargin and labelwidth keys


I am trying to learn how to use enumitem's keys to adjust a description list. In this case, I would like to have my list items and description text both left aligned, but the description text should all start at the same horizontal position.

What I have below comes pretty close, but it seems that the setting of \labelwidth is being ignored, and that there is some other thing I need to add to get the correct value of leftmargin.

The tabular version produces that output I want, but would prefer to use the description list from enumitem.


\newcommand*{\LongDescription}{This is a  long sentence to check that when it gets wrapped it is indented properly on the next line, but doesn't seem to when used in the list.}%
\newcommand*{\ShortDescription}{A very short description.}%

\newcommand*{\LargestItem}{The Largest Named Item}%

\begin{description} [leftmargin=\MaxWidthPlusLabelSep,labelwidth=\MaxWidth]
\item Small Name:
\item The Largest Named Item: \LongDescription
\item Larger Name:


I want something like this, but should be able to do this with a list:

\begin{tabular}{l@{ }p{\linewidth-\MaxWidthPlusLabelSep}}
Small Name:
    The Largest Named Item:
    Larger Name:

I have tried the solutions on how to Change hanging indent in description list
and How to align long labels in a list to the left margin?
but have not been able to adapt them to what I want.

Best Answer

   \begin{description}[leftmargin=\dimexpr\dimen0+\labelsep\relax,labelwidth=\dimen0 ]}

\begin{mydesc}{The Largest Named Item}
\item[Small Name]
\item[The Largest Named Item] \LongDescription
\item [Larger Name]

If enumitem version 3 is not available, it's possible to use a solution provided in the LaTeX Companion:

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