# Which way of using parentheses looks better?

I feel like the parentheses look strange here:

$$uv=4\left(\frac{a}{2}\right)^2\left(\frac{b}{2}\right)^2= 4\left(\frac{s}{2}\right)^2\left(\frac{t}{2}\right)^2$$


Do people think they should have the same heights or be like this?

• I was about to suggest using \middle for the inner brackets, but it turns out that \middle doesn't play well with superscripts. Commented May 16, 2018 at 7:16

If you use \biggl and \biggr in place of \left and \right it looks great!
$$uv=4\biggl(\frac{a}{2}\biggr)^2\biggl(\frac{b}{2}\biggr)^2=4\biggl(\frac{s}{2}\biggr)^2\biggl(\frac{t}{2}\biggr)^2$$

The reason why the brackets look a different size is because a and s are x-height letters, whereas b and t are ascenders, so in the latter case the fraction is "taller" and consequently so are the brackets.
• \biggl and \biggr are better... Commented May 14, 2018 at 14:39
• And some ^{\!\!2} in the exponent. I would use probably \Bigl( .. \Bigr) so it kind of depends on taste. Commented May 15, 2018 at 5:46