The xparse documentation gives examples of names of \NewDocumentCommands enclosed in braces, and without braces, as demonstrated in the two commands below. Is there any difference in functionality whatsoever between the two? I never use braces and better be safe than sorry.


  • 3
    In your example, there is no need for \ExplSyntaxOn...\ExplSyntaxOff.
    – Werner
    Commented Dec 10, 2018 at 7:34
  • Agreed, they are part of my MWE template as is \usepackage[...]{expl3} and I failed to remove them. Commented Dec 10, 2018 at 9:44

1 Answer 1


There is no difference, similar to the notation used with \newcommand and friends, as long as you pass it a control sequence. Technically you're passing an argument to \newcommand, which is then set using \def internally, so you should use {<csname>}. However, if you don't use braces, the first token is grabbed.

  • Reassuring that there is no harm in not using braces, but formal correctness would dictate to use {<csname>}. Commented Dec 10, 2018 at 8:03

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