When a function has a rather complex set of parameters, the function identifier (usually simply f), gets dwarfed by the parentheses and the parameters inside of them: function identifiers

As you can see in the red circle, the "f" looks more like a factor, than the function name. The way how the function is displayed in the blue circle is fine. I used the same code, basically, for both function names (simplified code):

\( f\left(\xi_{n,j}\right) \)


\( f(x) \)

Now, is there a way how to make the function identifier more "prominent", so it does not look like a factor to a parenthesis, but something more important I guess?

  • 2
    There's no need to grow the size of the parentheses in the case at hand: f(\xi_{n,j})(x_{n,j}-x_{n,j-1}) is just what's needed.
    – egreg
    Commented May 3, 2012 at 14:05
  • @egreg yeah, but the idea is, to grow the size of "f". It's a function identifier, and to my understanding, that one should always be at the same size as the paramteres. my idea was simply to somehow increase the font size for the "f" or something.
    – polemon
    Commented May 4, 2012 at 16:38

2 Answers 2


I think this is due to \left( adding some horizontal space. Compare with:

   f\left(x^2 \right)
  • 2
    In general, \left and \right should imho be avoided whenever possible.
    – mbork
    Commented May 3, 2012 at 14:02
  • @mbork I think so too. But sometimes e.g. for very high formulas extending the height of \Bigg you'll need it. Commented May 3, 2012 at 14:04
  • Increasing the size of f or something in the likes isn't a good idea?
    – polemon
    Commented May 3, 2012 at 14:28
  • 2
    @mbork IMHO, \left and \right should be re-coded so that they do not produce this stupid spacing.
    – yo'
    Commented May 3, 2012 at 14:34
  • I read through the article that Michel Fioc linked. It actually helps a lot!
    – polemon
    Commented May 3, 2012 at 16:16

This problem has been discussed in Spacing around \left and \right. To solve it, you may use the mleftright package of Heiko Oberdiek.

  • I just added the four lines that were advised there to my preamble. It seems to work OK.
    – polemon
    Commented May 4, 2012 at 16:37

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .