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When writing a mathematical expression with nested parentheses in Word 2007 using the Equation command, Word often makes the outermost parentheses somewhat larger than other parentheses:

screenshot of a sample expression

The size difference is so small that it may look like an error, and it does not particularly help in seeing the structure of the expression. Assuming we would like to remove the size difference, how could we do that?

Trying to be clever, I entered the sample expression so that I first typed ()^2 and then entered an expression between the parentheses. This sort-of works in the sense of making the parentheses the same size, but the appearance actually gets worse: the outermost parentheses are in a slightly elevated position, and this really looks like an error:

enter image description here

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Did you press the Space button after entering the 1st right parenthesis? – Doktoro Reichard Dec 17 '13 at 22:29
Have you tried changing the font or font size? I'm using Word 2010, and the parentheses are the same size. However, base of the inner parentheses seems to be moved ever so slightly above the base of outer parentheses using Cambria Math. – Bobort Dec 17 '13 at 22:36
@DoktoroReichard, no, no spaces. – Jukka K. Korpela Dec 17 '13 at 23:05
I'm not talking about space characters. Pressing Space while working on Equation Mode allows for Word to properly create (and bind) the parenthesis. – Doktoro Reichard Dec 17 '13 at 23:49
I think the way Word does it is more intuitive; especially you are writing expressions with numerous braces – tumchaaditya Dec 17 '13 at 23:56
up vote 2 down vote accepted

One way that works for the given expression is to put a zero width space or non-joiner on the inside of the outer braces:

(\zwsp a×(c+d)\zwsp)^2


(\zwnj a×(c+d)\zwnj)^2
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Nice. The methods seem to work for existing formulas too, i.e. by inserting \zwsp or `\zwnj' in an expression that Word has already formatted using larger parentheses resets them to normal size. – Jukka K. Korpela Dec 18 '13 at 14:31

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