In answering this question on math.se I used the expression {{{|}|}|} and wanted to enlarge the outer braces to show the pairing. I tried \left \{ \left \{ \{ | \} \right \} \right \} (with backslashes on the braces that don't appear here) but the outer ones did not enlarge. I found that \Bigl \{\bigl\{\{ | \}|\bigr \}|\Bigr\} worked. Generally I like \left and \right as it stays nice if change the contents. Why doesn't it enlarge the outer braces here?

closed as off-topic by egreg, Werner, user31729, user13907, Guido Dec 27 '15 at 11:30

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  • 1
    Sadly MathJax is off-topic here, but, uh, I can't reproduce this problem. Oh! I see now what your problem is! Er, yeah, the answer given below is exactly correct, it has nothing to do with \left and \right not working in MathJax, it's just that your content isn't big enough to cause further scaling. If you stick, say, a displaystyle fraction in there, you'll see that they scale as expected – Au101 Dec 27 '15 at 4:56

The pair \left \right takes parentheses big enough to enclose a box inside. Here the boxes are of the same height, so braces are the same.

However your version on math.stackexchange works very well. \Bigl, \Bigr and so on are sometimes the only acceptable solution, as in this case.

If you really need enlarging braces, you can change \delimiterfactor to a value greater than 1000, as in the following example (LaTeX, not working in MathJax, at least the version on math.se):


$\left \{ \left \{ \{ | \} \right \} \right \}$

$\left \{ \left \{ \{ | \} \right \} \right \}$


enter image description here

  • \Big( works, weirdly, even though \Left( breaks entirely. – ijoseph May 23 at 22:27

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