# Auto opening parenthesis when doing math

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When typing a closing parenthesis, I would like Alfred to add an opening parenthesis at the start of the field.

Typing this:

`20+8)`

results in:

`(20+8)`

For an example, let's say you're doing a calculation in Alfred.

`20+8`

and you want to divide that result by 3

`20+8/3`

is incorrect because PEDMAS/BODMAS interprets it as: 8/3 + 20

So you add a closing paragraph:

`20+8)`

and then you have to go back to the start and add the opening paragraph and then go back and divide by 3 and I know it sounds lazy to request an automatic opening paragraph mark but isn't automating lazy the whole point of Alfred?

Here's how it should work:

When a ")" is added, Alfred should look back in the statement and add a parenthesis at a previous math statement (+-/*)

ex:

`4+9*8)`

results in:

`4+(9*8)`

or, not finding that, at the start of the statement.

`9*8)`

results in:

`(9*8)`

Thank you and have a wonderful day.

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• 1 year later...

It used to do this, and for the last 6-12 months it hasn't (came looking for a solution as I'm tired of going back to the start of the field to put that opening '(' there.

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@dmayo2 Alfred has never done this, however, you can press = during a calculation to equate it to the answer before continuing.

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That's really odd, cause I'm pretty certain that in the past I wouldn't have to have the open parenthesis

`1.45-.78)*300`

would show the answer of 201

(as now my workflow is: )

`1.45-.78)* backspace alt-left-arrow ( alt-right arrow * 300`

This new workflow is such a pain that's why I thought I was doing this prior. I wonder what I was actually doing then?. Hmm.

Anyway, possible to add this to the feature list? There's gotta be some regex that would correctly assume the basic usage of a missing opening parenthesis, as I'm sure a pretty complex expression would be hard, but then again, something that complex one wouldn't be using Alfred for a quick answer.

Thanks for the app.

Powerpack Mega supporter

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6 minutes ago, dmayo2 said:

I wonder what I was actually doing then?

In your example, you could do:

`1.45-.78=*300`

As for adding auto parenthesis, it's very difficult to second guess what people would actually want when it comes to opening bracket positioning. In the example given, what's to say that 4+9*8) should be auto completed to (4+9*8).