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$x_{max}(n)$ does not look good, because max takes to much space horizontally, and n goes too far. What is a good way to write such thing?

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thanks for correction, – Emmet B Feb 22 '13 at 10:34
Welcome to TeX.SX. A tip: If you indent lines by 4 spaces, then they're marked as a code sample. You can also highlight the code and click the "code" button ({}) or select your code and hit Ctrl+K. – Claudio Fiandrino Feb 22 '13 at 10:45
Not sure if there's a good way with that nomenclature. The subscript baseline is lower than the main text baseline, but not so low that the main text and subscript text won't overlap. Would something like \max (x(n)) work instead? – Mike Renfro Feb 22 '13 at 10:55
I don't really see any alternative; having "max" below the x is not only typographically bad, but also against any mathematical convention. – egreg Feb 22 '13 at 11:09
I think $x_{\max}(n)$ looks just fine. Of course you could make up some new notation for that, like $\bar{x}(n)$. – mafp Feb 22 '13 at 11:22
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can use the built in \! for negative space (fixed amount) or else use a \rule with a negative horizontal argument, as in

\parindent 0in 
$x_{\!max}\!(n)$  versus\\
$x_{\rule{-.2ex}{0ex}max}\rule{-.1ex}{0ex}(n)$  versus\\
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