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Mathematical Typesetting

Spanning Characters

In mathematical notation one commonly uses a large opening curly brace with all the cases listed to the right. However, by default, curly braces do not scale to the full height of the set of cases on the right, as shown.


A regular opening parenthesis instead does scale properly.


Neil Soiffer ( writes: Very large brackets and braces for their common uses in Mathematica (function call, lists) can look silly. Hence, as defined in, they are set to grow to at most "2.01" (factor of two, with a fudge factor) times their normal size when SpanMaxSize is set to Automatic. Spanning can be controlled by selecting Expression Input [Graphics:../Images/index_gr_5.gif] Spanning Characters [Graphics:../Images/index_gr_6.gif] Expand Indefinitely from the Edit menu. Alternatively, if you use the Option Inspector and type in Span you will see the Spanning Character Options. You can set SpanMaxSize around the character, at the cell level, notebook level, or globally. You may not be happy with what the brackets and braces look like for function calls and lists, though. Here is the result of setting SpanMaxSize->Infinity at the character level.


You could also change the value in, but then the notebook is no longer "portable" unless you also send the modified, and it would make all list braces grow arbitrarily large.

There is another problem: in each case the opening bracket is displayed in color, indicating that it is unmatched. One solution is to select the unmatched bracket, use the Option Inspector and type in Unmatched. Here is the result of setting "UnmatchedBracketStyle"->None at the character or cell level.


In TraditionalForm, a better alternative is to close off the unmatched left bracket with \[AutoRightMatch] (or [Graphics:../Images/index_gr_9.gif]) which keeps things properly bracketed. This will not work for StandardForm unless you set DelimiterMatching->None for the cell (or any larger scope). Here is the result of closing off the unmatched left bracket.


Similarly, to close off an unmatched right bracket, use \[AutoLeftMatch] (or [Graphics:../Images/index_gr_11.gif]).

Inline Equations

Here is an easy and powerful way of producing correctly formatted two-dimensional inline equations by converting formulas in text cells into two-dimensional form. Consider the following cell.

Here is some text with an identity, Integrate[x^2 Sin[x],x]=Integrate[x^2 Sin[x],x].

1. Select the formula (i.e., Integrate[x^2 Sin[x],x]=Integrate[x^2 Sin[x],x]) and use Edit [Graphics:../Images/index_gr_12.gif] Expression Input [Graphics:../Images/index_gr_13.gif] Start Inline Cell (or [Graphics:../Images/index_gr_14.gif]) to turn this into an inline cell.

Here is some text with an identity, [Graphics:../Images/index_gr_15.gif].

2. Select the inline cell and use Cell [Graphics:../Images/index_gr_16.gif] Convert To [Graphics:../Images/index_gr_17.gif] TraditionalForm.

Here is some text with an identity, [Graphics:../Images/index_gr_18.gif].

3. Select the right-hand integral (you can make this selection by triple-clicking on this integral) and use Kernel [Graphics:../Images/index_gr_19.gif] Evaluation [Graphics:../Images/index_gr_20.gif] Evaluate In Place.

Here is some text with an identity, [Graphics:../Images/index_gr_21.gif].

Converted by Mathematica      

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