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I have the following formula:

$ F_{\!\bm{H}}  F_{\overline{\!\!\bm{H}\!}} $

In this case both subscripts end at different depths (but start at the same height). I'd like them to end at the same depth. Has anybody an idea?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

You can do the following:

F_{\!\bm{H}\vphantom{\overline{\!\!\bm{H}\!}}} F_{\overline{\!\!\bm{H}\!}}

The \vphantom command makes vertical space the same height its argument. Depending on how often you need this or how predictable it is, you might be able to make a macro to add the \vphantom part automatically.

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You might want to look at the subdepth package, which has descrption

This package is based on code (posted long ago to comp.text.tex by Donald Arseneau) to equalise the height of subscripts in maths. The default behaviour is to place subscripts slightly lower when there is a superscript as well, but this can look odd in some situations.

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See also Subscripts for primed variables for an example of the default behaviour. (The accepted answer by Will Robertson advises to use his subdepth package ...) – Hendrik Vogt Feb 5 '11 at 8:12
The best thing since sliced bread!!! I can finally remove all the ugly \vphantom's from my documents! Thank you! – Dominique Feb 9 '12 at 20:47
$ F_{\!\bm{H}}  F_{\,\smash[t]{\overline{\!\!\bm{H}\!}}} $
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The following changes the subscripts globally:

% for Plain with default CM-font
% Or more generally
$\rm Fe_2^{+2}Cr_2^{+2}O_4^{+2}$
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One should note that this changes the subscript positions globally even if you put in inside a group. – Hendrik Vogt Feb 5 '11 at 8:17

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