From an answer to Keyboard entry of square bracketed matrices in text cells, How to? ,

I cribbed this code:

CurrentValue[EvaluationNotebook[], InputAliases] = 
   Append[CurrentValue[EvaluationNotebook[], InputAliases], 
    "bmat" -> 
     RowBox[{StyleBox["[", SpanMaxSize -> Infinity], 
          "\[Placeholder]"}, {"\[Placeholder]", "\[Placeholder]"}}], 
       StyleBox["]", SpanMaxSize -> Infinity]}]];

It works OK, but sometimes Mathematica delets the SpanMaxSize directive when automatically reformatting. There may be a way to prevent that, but (I think) I would prefer that square brackets acted the same as parentheses, by default. Is there a way to make that happen?

Am I likely to regret doing so? That is, is there some compelling reason that square brackets (or curly brackets) are not "stretchy" by default?

Version 10.4.0 for Microsoft Windows (64-bit) (February 26, 2016)

Edit to add image showing surprising consequence of getting what I asked for. Not a show stopper, but ... enter image description here


1 Answer 1


This works for me in version 10.1:

SetOptions[$FrontEndSession, SpanMaxSize -> Infinity]

enter image description here

Change $FrontEndSession to $FrontEnd to make the setting persistent, or replace it with EvaluationNotebook[] to limit it to a single Notebook.

Off hand I cannot think of any problem this would cause; I believe it is simply a stylistic choice.


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