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I want to underline alpha's and beta's, but at the same level. I mean, I don't want but . Maybe there is already a command that make it but I couldn't find it. The second image was obtained with the following command :

$\newlength{\espa}
\settowidth{\espa}{$\alpha$}\rlap{\underline{\hspace{\espa}}}\alpha,
\settowidth{\espa}{$\beta$}\rlap{\underline{\hspace{\espa}}}\beta$

which is hardly working but not totally. In normal math mode, no pbm. In scriptsize (or tiny or anything else) math mode, no pbm. But if I am in math mode within an exponent, then the \settowidth command does not seem to take into account that I am in sciptsize mode and, as a matter of fact, the underline is too long (e.g. ).

Any idea ?

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  • 3
    Would incorporating a \strut help to put all underlines at the same level? Mar 24 '11 at 11:12
  • 3
    A \mathstrut would be more appropriate, assuming math mode is where you want to do it. It will scale with (sub)subscripts, which the regular \strut won't do. Mar 24 '11 at 12:08
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$\underline{\smash{\beta}}$

will do the trick.

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  • Excellent! I have one question though: how can I achieve that the line of \underline{mytext} has the same width as mytext?
    – Leo
    Jul 29 '11 at 3:36
  • @Leon: You mean it doesn't? Jul 29 '11 at 14:39
  • Yes, in my case, the line of \emph{\underline{\smash{Proof}}}: is shorter than the word Proof. I was hoping there was some option to set the additional width manually, like \underline[2pt]{...} or something like that...
    – Leo
    Jul 29 '11 at 18:11
  • 1
    @Leon: Ah. Unrelated to this question, really. But what you need is an italic correction: \emph{\underline{\smash{Proof\/}}}:. Or better yet, restructure your usage to allow \emph to do its job of adding italic correction automagically: \underline{\emph{Proof}}:. Jul 30 '11 at 9:14

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