I would like to know how to use the \left and \right options in the text environment.

This is what I am trying to do:

\left( when factorizing $e^{-2000t}$\right)

As you can see, I am trying to make the parenthesis to be as big as what is inside (That was just an example, it could be something bigger).

Thanks in advantage for helping.

  • 1
    Is the actual construction inside an equation, or part of the regular flow of paragraph text? If it's the latter, do you want the text to be breakable across lines?
    – Werner
    Jan 15, 2014 at 6:50
  • Is part of the regular flow of a paragraph text, and I would like it to be breakable across lines. (Thanks for answering).
    – Hans
    Jan 15, 2014 at 6:55
  • There is no reason for making parentheses taller in this case. Normal size suffices. Nothing imposes that parentheses must cover the whole height of a math formula and a small overshoot frequently makes for a better effect.
    – egreg
    Jan 15, 2014 at 7:49

2 Answers 2


I would just create new commands for these "text-style" delimiters using \bigl and \bigr:

enter image description here

Here is some regular text and then it is obvious that it might
\textbigl(when factorizing~$e^{-2000t}$\textbigr) when 
you consider this.

The \big-style delimiter-sizing provides better spacing around content than \left-\right pairs, and also is convenient when wanting to keep the resized height across break points.

Ps. I won't do this myself.

  • Thanks for answering (again). Would this work when have really bigger information inside the parenthesis?.
    – Hans
    Jan 15, 2014 at 7:16
  • 2
    @Hans: For that one can define alternative \textbig-like commands. See the amsmath user guide (section 4.14.1 Delimiter sizes, p 15) (and Difference between \big[ and \bigl[). I would not place content that is too tall/deep inside regular text, since it forces improper \baselineskip.
    – Werner
    Jan 15, 2014 at 7:21

I actually ended solving it by $\left( \vphantom{e^{-2000t}}\right.$when facotirzing~$e^{-2000t}$ $\left. \vphantom{e^{-2000t}}\right)$. As my document (IEEEtran journal) won't allow the \bigl and \bigr commands.

I don't have yet an automated \newcommand because I don't know how to do it and it is kind of tricky as I would have to type in the taller input inside the \vphantom parameter everytime. But this is the best solution (I've found so far) as the height is automatically adjusted everytime, not having to change the delimiter size.

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