Frequently Asked Question List for TeX


Even subscript height

Other things being equal, TeX will aim to position subscripts and superscripts in places that “look good”. Unfortunately, it only does this for the sub- and superscripts of each atom at a time, so if you have

$ X^{1}_{2} X_{2} $

the second subscript will appear higher, since the first has moved down to avoid the superscript; the effect can be noticeably distracting: faq-images1.png

You can avoid the problem, for a single instance, by

$ X^{1}_{2} X^{}_{2} $

here, the dummy superscript has the requisite “pushing down” effect: faq-images2.png

While this technique does what is necessary, it is tedious and potentially error-prone. So, for more than one or two equations in a document, the LaTeX user is advised to use the subdepth package, which forces the lower position for all subscripts.

FAQ ID: Q-subheight
Tags: math