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The \left and \right commands often produce improvidently large delimiters. It almost always looks better to use delimiters that are just slightly too small than delimiters that are too large. With computer modern, the results are usually bearable, but with (for example) the mathdesign package using charter font, the delimiter sizing is intolerable. For instance, the following code produces vertical bars around y that are much larger than x:

\documentclass{amsart}
\usepackage[charter]{mathdesign}

\begin{document}

    It would be nice if these were the same size:
    \[ \left|x\right| \quad \left|y\right| \]
    It would be even better if
    \[\left|x^{2^3}\right| \quad \text{ looked like } \quad \bigl| x^{2^3}\bigr|\]

\end{document}

An image of the result:

enter image description here

So now the question: Any ideas on how to produce sloppy \left and \right commands (say, \sleft and \sright) that allows a little bit of overhang?

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Welcome to TeX.sx! A tip: You can use backticks ` to mark your inline code as I did in my edit. –  Corentin Mar 12 '13 at 17:56
    
Thanks, @Corentin, and also for the screen shot. I'll make sure to format all code in future posts. –  Mike McCoy Mar 12 '13 at 18:00
3  
You should consider using \big (and friends). Also, scalerel might be what you're after. –  Werner Mar 12 '13 at 18:08
3  
@Werner: I agree that \big, etc., are good for tuning a final draft. But \left and \right should get me within the ballpark so that most equations don't need fine tuning. That's the whole point of these commands, no? –  Mike McCoy Mar 12 '13 at 18:11
    
Well, actually... no. The TeXbook has a bunch of examples where \left and \right give clearly wrong size (sometimes too big, sometimes too small). IMHO, their main use is for delimiters bigger than \Bigg.... Equations will need tuning if you want them too look good anyway. –  mbork Mar 12 '13 at 20:42

1 Answer 1

up vote 21 down vote accepted

enter image description here

\documentclass{amsart}
\usepackage[charter]{mathdesign}
\delimitershortfall=10pt
\delimiterfactor=750
\begin{document}

    It would be nice if these were the same size:
    \[ \left|x\right| \quad \left|y\right| \]
    It would be even better if
    \[\left|x^{2^3}\right| \quad \text{ looked like } \quad \bigl| x^{2^3}\bigr|\]

\end{document}
share|improve this answer
2  
This is perfect, but \delimiterfactor=850 works even better. After seeing the command names, here is a similar post with additional information: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/36039/… –  Mike McCoy Mar 12 '13 at 18:53
    
An explanation what those commands do would be helpful. –  math May 22 '13 at 10:17

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