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I want e.g. \bigtriangleup as a subscript in math mode, but I do not want it as the subscript of any preceding symbol as | as in |_{\bigtriangleup}. I tried with _{\bigtriangleup} which does not work. Does anyone know a solution?

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    ${}_{\bigtriangleup}$ – Steven B. Segletes Dec 19 '13 at 20:46
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    it sounds like you really just want a smaller triangle, placed lower down. try {}_{\bigtriangleup} which will "subscript" it to "nothing" (an empty group). you may have to adjust spacing manually. – barbara beeton Dec 19 '13 at 20:48
  • Just $_{\bigtriangleup}$ work perfect for me with TeX Live 2013 in a article class. Since it is only a character, also only $_\bigtriangleup$ work fine. – Fran Dec 20 '13 at 0:29
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You may also try with ~_{\bigtriangleup} or with \phantom{text}_{\bigtriangleup}. In the second case the width of text determines how much blank space will be left before the subscript.

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