How can I make a subscript for sum in latex like the following picture:

enter image description here

I tried \sum_{q_i} but that doesn't make the result I want. It makes the following result: enter image description here

  • Why not? (You did write this in math mode, right?)
    – Thomas
    Commented Aug 8, 2013 at 18:29
  • yes in math mode. I included a pic for the result
    – guckogucko
    Commented Aug 8, 2013 at 18:31
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  • 2
    Related: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/32824/… Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 11:24
  • 2
    @ChrisH Don't do that please, rather use \textstyle in \[ .. \] (or some other displayed environment). Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 12:26

2 Answers 2


That is expected; it's a matter of inline math mode versus display math mode.

Inline math is meant for small fragments inside the running text, so it is typeset in a compact way, with the subscript to the side of the sum symbol. Inline math is done with $...$.

Display math is meant for larger, standalone equations, and is set in a paragraph of its own. Because it has more space, the subscript can be put underneath the sum symbol. Display math is done with \[...\] or a whole variety of environments.


I tried it out rightnow. If you write something like

  \sum_{q_i} {p x r}

It should give you the result you do not want to have, but if you enter mathmode in text

 I want to show you this sum $\sum_{q_i} {p x r}$ blabla

Then you would get theresult you want to have.

  • 3
    \textstyle{} and \displaystyle{} will allow you to switch styles in the middle of whatever you are doing. Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 22:59
  • Thanks, didn't know that, but this should solve the problem
    – mjhalwa
    Commented Aug 10, 2013 at 4:27

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