I am new here an hereby apologize for any mistakes I might make in posting this. I am also sorry if a similar topic already exists, but I failed to find anything answering this.

I am interested whether you can "force" latex to vertically center parenthesis on the whole object within rather than on the first element. I think the following example gives a better explanation.

I want to write something like (I have added a couple of exponents extra to highlight the issue):

Note that $a^{b{^{c^{d^e}}}}$ abbreviates 

Sample output

And I don't like the fact that the parenthesis center on the first thing so the letter $b$ instead of the whole object within the parenthesis.

Similar things happens with parenthesis and subscripts and fractions which go "too much" in upwards or downwards direction. (i.e. \frac{\frac{\frac{}{}}{}}{}}).

I would really appreciate any help as this looks really bad to me and I have no clue where to find a solution for this.

  • it does not centre on the b it centres on the math axis Dec 18, 2015 at 14:52
  • Welcome to TeX - LaTeX! I have added an image of the output generated by your code Dec 18, 2015 at 15:09
  • just remove the \left and \right and close your eyes to the fact that some of the parenthesized superscripts extend above the outer one. Dec 18, 2015 at 16:38

1 Answer 1


If I had to do this (and normally avoid it) I'd probably do

enter image description here



Note that $a^{b{^{c^{d^e}}}}$ abbreviates 


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