TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I use the term ^*\mathbb{R} in my thesis, and this works fine. However if i have something like x\in^*\mathbb{R}, the asterisk moves to the left, like it belongs to the \in sign. How do I prevent this from happening and make it stick to the \mathbb{R}?


share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

A “prescript” should be set as a superscript to an empty formula, unless the symbol this should be attached to has a big size, when something else must be devised; for instance, you could say


and then use


but it would be probably too much, in this case. However, you should define macros for this:

%% or, with mathtools,
% \newcommand{\hypernumberset}[1]{\prescript{*}{}{\numberset{#1}}}


Not only typing


is simpler than $x\in{}^{*}\mathbb{R}$, but this also allows much more flexibility. In case you eventually decide that blackboard bold is not the best and that normal boldface is to be used, you just need to change one definition, namely that of \numberset.

share|improve this answer
if the prescript is attached to a large operator (e.g. sum or product), then \sideset from amsmath is suggested. (since you mentioned "big size") – barbara beeton Jun 16 '14 at 13:43

The superscript is added to the symbol before. Thus \in^* puts the asterisk to the symbol \in. A trick is using an empty subformula: \in {}^*, then the superscript is set to the subformula:



share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.