How do I define my own delimiters from arbitrary symbols for math which have these properties:

  • They have a fixed size. Unlike the usual delimiters they do not stretch to adapt to the enclosed content.
  • They do not have to be paired. A left delimiter need not be followed by a right delimiter. A right delimiter need not be preceded by a left delimiter.
  • Each delimiter can be declared to belong to one of the three sides (left, middle, right).

Example 1: I want to use the $ character as a math delimiter. I want to declare a left, a right, and a middle $ delimiter. I want to be able to use just any one, just any two, or all three variants of $ delimiters.

Example 2: What I want already exists for some characters. There are the \lvertand \rvert delimiters. I would like to declare delimiting characters of this type for arbitrary characters. So, for my example 1 I would create the new commands \ldollar, \mdollar, and \rdollar which would produce a left, a middle, and a right $ sign delimiter, respectively.

  • you can just use \newcommand to define shortands for \mathopen{\$}, \mathbin{\$}, \mathclose{\$}` Feb 5, 2015 at 17:20

1 Answer 1


Use the commands \mathopen, \mathclose and \mathrel:



$\log\ldollar a+b\rvert-\{a\mdollar b\}$

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  • I'd have guessed \mathbin ? Feb 5, 2015 at 17:21
  • @DavidCarlisle Why \mathbin? A “middle delimiter” is surely a relation symbol like \mid.
    – egreg
    Feb 5, 2015 at 17:23
  • I don't know what a$b means but if I had to guess, I'd guess it was semantically closer to a+b than a=b but who knows:-) Feb 5, 2015 at 17:25

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