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I have several macros which produce bracketed expressions, with bracket size automatically adjusted using \right( and \left). This almost always works well. However, there are times when I feel that slightly larger brackets would be preferable - because the bracketed expression is so long, contains multiple brackets, etc.

Since I don't want to rewrite these macros, I figured out a work-around solution. I would just insert manually something tall (maybe \sum^x), use \phantom so that it does not display, and then try roll back by inserting a number of \!'s. It works, but it's dirty.

How can I (nicely) create a whitespace which is tall (so that automatically sized delimiters become tall as well) but which only takes up a negligible amount of horizontal space?

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    \vphantom perhaps???? – user31729 Mar 1 '16 at 21:06
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    \vphantom{foo} is the height of foo and zero width – David Carlisle Mar 1 '16 at 21:07
  • This works! Thank you. I had no idea this command exists. – Jakub Konieczny Mar 1 '16 at 21:10
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    Also possible is \rule{0pt}{1cm} etc. to create a rule with zero width. – Ian Thompson Mar 1 '16 at 21:12
  • @IanThompson: True, but this requires explicit setting of the height. (But a nice idea) – user31729 Mar 1 '16 at 21:17

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