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I have a problem concerning the following equation in LaTeX:

A_{1}^{\ast} A_{1} = A_{1} A_{1}^{\ast},

where the 1's under the A's are placed at different heights. Does anyone know a simple way to fix this?

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See, e.g., Subscripts for primed variables (possible duplicate?) –  Hendrik Vogt Feb 13 '13 at 14:24
    
I couldn't find this page and it does provide an easy way to fix it (using the package subdepth), so this is an answer. –  Vincent Feb 13 '13 at 14:27
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marked as duplicate by mafp, lockstep, zeroth, Werner, Andrew Swann Feb 13 '13 at 15:38

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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

It's the lack of a superscript that's creating the problem. Because of the size of the superscript, the subscript was pushed down. Use a phantom superscript to equalize things.

\documentclass{article}
\pagestyle{empty}
\begin{document}
\[
    A_{1}^{\ast} A_{1}^{\phantom{\ast}} = A_{1}^{\phantom{\ast}} A_{1}^{\ast}
\]
\end{document}

enter image description here

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This is indeed an easy way to fix it, but the answer given in the above duplicate gives an easier way by simply adding the 'subdepth' package. –  Vincent Feb 13 '13 at 14:32
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\vphantom would be better than just \phantom -- look at the spacing between the subscript on the first A and the start of the second A in each pair to see why. not a big difference here, but it could be in other situations. –  barbara beeton Feb 13 '13 at 22:17
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