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I've been looking for a while now, for something I think is very basic. How can I use, for instance, "v0" with the 0 smaller next to the v.

Like this:

enter image description here

I can't find it, mainly because I'm not sure what to call it.

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marked as duplicate by Qrrbrbirlbel, Mico, Martin Schröder, Przemysław Scherwentke, Benedikt Bauer Oct 26 '13 at 21:38

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Simply $v_0$. Very basic, indeed. – Przemysław Scherwentke Oct 26 '13 at 19:34
$v_{0}$? Reading a basic guide is recommended; go to and type lshort in the search box, you'll get a list of a good introductory guide in several languages. – egreg Oct 26 '13 at 19:36
is this really about subscripts, or about the use of "old style" numerals. – barbara beeton Oct 26 '13 at 20:57

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you're thinking of typesetting material in subscript position, you can do so as follows, in TeX's math mode:


Conversely, to typeset material in superscript position, you can do so (again in TeX's math mode) as follows:


To familiarize yourself some more with LaTeX and, in particular, its ways of handling the typesetting of math material, you may want to study Chapter 3 of Tobias Oetiker's "Not So Short Introduction to LaTeX2e".

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By default the subscript uses \scriptstyle, so if you need a smaller subscript then use \scriptscriptstyle as shown in the given image below.

$v_0$ or $v_{\scriptstyle 0}$ or $v_{\scriptscriptstyle 0}$

enter image description here

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I'd recommend:

  • \(v_0\) or \(v_{12}\) in continuous text (named inline math mode)
  • \begin{equation} v_0 \end{equation} for standalone equations (named displaymath mode).
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