5

If I write \big( -1 \big), then I get largish spaces around the minus sign. It's as if TeX is treating the opening parenthesis as an operand, so I get the same spacing that I would get in a - b. Regular (-1) works fine, so it seems to be the "big" qualifier that's causing the trouble.

Is this the expected behavior? Is there some workaround that will give me the correct spacing?

  • Did you try \big({-1}\big)? – Johannes_B Apr 17 '17 at 9:25
  • I did now. It works, but I prefer David's approach below. – bubba Apr 17 '17 at 9:35
  • Understandable, it is correct :-) – Johannes_B Apr 17 '17 at 9:37
14

The markup should be \bigl( and \bigr) (almost) never use \big

enter image description here

\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}

$\big(-1\big)$

$\bigl(-1\bigr)$

\end{document}

Note that \bigl preserves the mathopen at the start of the term which affects the outer spacing, not just the inner spacing with the following binop.

\documentclass{article}

\begin{document}

$\log(-1)$

$\log{(}{-}1{)}$

$\big(-1\big)x$

$\log\big({-}1\big)x$

$\log\bigl(-1\bigr)x$


\end{document}

enter image description here

| improve this answer | |
  • Thanks. Your suggestion of using {-} also worked, but I like the \bigl-\bigr approach better. I assume this also applies to \Big. – bubba Apr 17 '17 at 9:32
  • 1
    {-} locally just changes the interpretation of - but for all such size commands) the l-r forms also preserve the outer spacing as you have a math open and math close at each end of the term as if you had use ( and ) \big( like {(} is a mathord. – David Carlisle Apr 17 '17 at 9:36
  • 1
    @bubba I added some more examples – David Carlisle Apr 17 '17 at 9:43

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