I am using Mathematica to layout some mathematical formulas for publication. The guidelines specify that in case of nested parentheses the encompassing ones need to be bigger than the inner ones. So is there a way to make parentheses bigger easily? Below is an example of what I want. It is made by inserting an invisible column at the beginning of the grouping, but that creates a ugly gap in the formula. enter image description here

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Please include copyable code in your post. $\endgroup$
    – Mr.Wizard
    Jan 15, 2013 at 14:41
  • $\begingroup$ If you're using Mathematica just to set up the formulas to go into a publication, then you'd be better off exporting to LaTeX and then, if necessary, tweaking there. $\endgroup$
    – murray
    Jan 15, 2013 at 21:38

2 Answers 2


It is a bit messy but you can manually fix this by highlighting the stuff to the left of the parenthesis, and the left hand parenthesis, and nudge the stuff to the right

enter image description here

The result will look like this:

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Yeah that works, but is messy as you say. Wonder if it would be possible to automate this tough. I'm Accepting your answer for now as its enough for my current situation. $\endgroup$
    – joojaa
    Jan 15, 2013 at 20:54
  • $\begingroup$ Yes you could automate this because the nudging is adjustment boxes so when you have something you like you can use show expression to have a look at the underlying box structure. But to go to the work of automating I would want to be doing several of these formulas with the same structure/format otherwise I'd just cut and paste. $\endgroup$ Jan 15, 2013 at 21:01
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah your right I can just make a number of different sizes and copy paste them. $\endgroup$
    – joojaa
    Jan 15, 2013 at 21:12

There is the way to insert a column consisting of three elements into the parantheses, and make the first and the third of them white (and thus, invisible). Namely,

  1. Type (, type Ctrl+Enter, type Ctrl+Space, once more type Ctrl+Space, type ). You get a 3-element column enclosed by the parantheses.

  2. Make the first and third elements white.

  3. Mark the first element, go to Menu/Format/Font and choose a smaller font size, say, 6 pts. Make the same with the third column element.

  4. Type your expression into the second element.

The snapshot one may see below. To my taste this method is not really satisfactory, since the outer parantheses are too large This is the snapshot of the formula obtained this way. Sorry for its size, I do not know how to improve it

  • $\begingroup$ Oh, yes. It might work better if you put it in grid with two elements center align and SpanFromAbove. Still needs tweak tough but is less buggy than what im finding the tweak to be. I must investigate further. Still not perfect. $\endgroup$
    – joojaa
    Jan 17, 2013 at 11:56

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