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What's the best way to make a curly brace used for grouping items together?


Question

Many documents (especially older ones) use what looks like a curly brace { to join multiple elements together. Here's an example of this to illustrate programming code, and here's a thread about doing this in TeX.

This can even be done directly in posts on math.SE: an answer using these braces.

curly braces

What's the best way to go about making braces like this? An ideal solution for my needs would:

  • use InDesign or Photoshop
  • keep the typographic look of a serif font's {
  • be easily expanded to cover more or less area

Any ideas?

Update: Check out the links above. Just resizing a single { character isn't the desired effect. Imagine if there were characters that meant "start of brace", "straight part of brace", "middle of brace", and "end of brace". You could use them together to make one giant brace. Something like `-----v-----' where the brace can encompass more space by simply adding more - characters.

2017/04/13
1
9
4/13/2017 12:34:00 PM

Accepted Answer

Several options.

  1. draw it. Not that hard to do in a vector illustration program. Draw half of it then flip to make the other half and join them together.

  2. Scale a brace from a particular typeface (as e100 suggests)

  3. or perhaps the easiest/most versatile: choose a brace from a typeface in your vector illustration program of choice and convert it to outlines. You should now be able to select the points along the outer curves and drag them to stretch out the brace but retain it's relatively style/thickness. After dragging them, there may be a bit of tweaking to do, but it's how I've done it in the past.

My ASCII example (the O's being the bezier points):

           OxO
              x      <------+ Select then drag
               O              these points as needed
               x
               x
               x
               x
               x
               x
               x
               x
                x
                 xx
                x
               x
               x
               x
               x
              x
           xxx
2011/11/30
10
11/30/2011 8:00:00 PM

Old thread, new solution

Go to TYPE-->GLYPHS Ensure the Show drop down is set to Entire Font. Set the font to Symbol | Regular (for some reason this doesn't work on a standard type fram).

In the symbols font, toward the end (just before the closed apple) You'll find the individual bracket elements. Adjust the indent, vertical scale and space after properties until the desired alignment is achieved.

enter image description here

It requires some tweaking, but the results are more aesthetic.

        enter image description here

Image 2: Example of what it looks like

2015/01/07