I know that \big and similar commands cause an incorrect spacing between the delimiter and their contents, and they should be replaced with \bigl and so on. I've defined some commands with \DeclarePairedDelimiter, but it seems to me that this macro doesn't use the left-right distinguished variants of \big (and the like) but the generic \big command. The mathtools manual doesn't cover this question, so I ask you. How can I make \DeclarePairedDelimiter with \bigr and \bigl?

For example, I have defined


but I don't know, using \norm[\big]{x} whether it will be expanded as \big\lVert{x}\big\rVert or \bigl\lVert{x}\bigr\rVert. Maybe \rVert and \lVert already take care by themselves of the correct spacing, but there's still the last one with ( and ).

  • This is more of a general question, I don't have an issue on a particular piece of code. Anyway, I'll post an example.
    – yellon
    Apr 4, 2016 at 18:53
  • 1
    Actually, mathtools will translate \norm[\big]{x} into \mathopen{\big\lVert}x\mathclose{\big\rVert}. And \bigl\lVert is defined to do \mathopen{\big\lVert} (similarly for \bigr), so it's exactly the same.
    – egreg
    Apr 4, 2016 at 20:04

1 Answer 1


No need to worry about this, behind the scenes \DeclarePairedDelimiter converts \big into \bigl and \bigr, that is the reason why we only mention \big in the manual. And also why if you want to make your own scaling macro, you'll need three versions for it to work with a \DeclarePairedDelimiter construction

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