I cannot get a double subscript to a letter that has a dot on it.

I only get what is in the first line of the picture, but what I want is the upper left with the dot only on the v. Note that the second vkd is not right.

I use this code



% no errors here\dots

% this does not work as I thought it should
${{\dot v}_k}_d$
${\dot v_k}_d$


Any ideas??

Follow up

As the comments have shown, there is some doubt that these double subscripts are really necessary. They may be hardly visible, but they flatter the eyes - as I think - and make reading more comfortable. The picture below is what I write in original size.

This is also what the \usepackage{microtype} does. And, kerning doesn't bother you unless you know about it... Cf. this xkzd cartoon.

  • 1
    Is this \dot{v}_{kd} what you want?
    – Sigur
    Jul 23, 2013 at 15:45
  • Sorry, no. I want the subscript of the subscripted letter.
    – Jan
    Jul 23, 2013 at 15:47
  • I guess this notation is supposed to mean that $v$ is indexed by $k$ and by $d$... Isn't the notation $v_{k,d}$ more usual (and convenient) for this purpose? To be honest, I don't understand why ${v_k}_d$ (top left) doesn't give the "double subscript" error as well.
    – T. Verron
    Jul 23, 2013 at 15:47
  • The only thing that makes some kind of sense is ${{\dot{v}}_{k_d}$ (top middle). Jul 23, 2013 at 15:50
  • 1
    I don't think that a reader can really notice the difference between ${v_k}_d$ and $v_{kd}$.
    – egreg
    Jul 23, 2013 at 16:08

2 Answers 2


I find the notation


unclear; readers won't be able to distinguish it from


However, if you really insist on doing it that way, you just have to add a pair of braces; I add what I'd do, instead.









enter image description here

It's a problem with math accent that sometimes shows up; in an expression such as ${\dot{v}_k}$ the outer braces are stripped off by rule, because they contain a single Acc atom; therefore the intuitive


gives a Double subscript error. Adding an empty subformula avoids the problem.

  • Yes, thanks. Also for the explanation what goes wrong here ...
    – Jan
    Jul 23, 2013 at 16:20

Of course, this is in \textstyle (going into \scriptstyle. If you need to use it in \scriptstyle (going into \scriptscriptstyle), let me know.

$\makebox{${\dot v}_k$}_d$

enter image description here


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