Everytime I use ToExpression to transform a TeX expression into mathematica input form, Mathematica always interprets parenthesis ('(' and ')') as square brackets, which has a differente meaning for expressions. I always have to manually change the expression. Also, it doesn't happen all the time. Does anybody know what is going on and what can I do to fix this? An Example:

ToExpression["A - \\frac{B (2+F)}{(1+C)} D", TeXForm]

This yields:

A - (D B[2 + F])/(1 + C)

I would like:

A - (D B(2 + F))/(1 + C)


  • $\begingroup$ In practice it may be easier to just fix the resulting Mathematica expression rather than get Mathematica to use the desired interpretation ... i.e. do a replacement similar to s_[a_] :> s*a. Where do your TeX snippets come from? Can you get MathML instead of TeX? $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Oct 21, 2015 at 11:49

1 Answer 1


You can use a LaTeX thin space \, as a multiplication symbol to enforce what you want:

ToExpression["A - \\frac{B\\,(2+F)}{(1+C)} D", TeXForm]

(* A-(B D (2+F))/(1+C) *)

As noted by rhermans, standard mathematical notation is ambiguous -- do the parentheses signify multiplication or function arguments? -- so the thin space is needed to remove the ambiguity.

As noted by march, if you want to consistently use parentheses for multiplication, you could define a function like

fromTeX[str_] := ToExpression[StringReplace[str, "(" -> "\\,("], TeXForm]

Now you can do

fromTeX["A - \\frac{B(2+F)}{(1+C)} D"]

(* A - (B D (2 + F))/(1 + C) *)
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Can you imagine a systematic way of telling Mathematica to do this? I am aware that I may be asking for too much. $\endgroup$
    – user191919
    Oct 20, 2015 at 17:02
  • $\begingroup$ You need a way to differentiate the arguments of the function and the factorizing parenthesis. I guess that is why the space matters. $\endgroup$
    – rhermans
    Oct 20, 2015 at 17:12
  • $\begingroup$ @user191919. You could do StringReplace["A - \\frac{B (2+F)}{(1+C)} D", "(" -> "\\,("] before converting the expression. $\endgroup$
    – march
    Oct 20, 2015 at 22:48

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