In my document, I'm using symbols for footnotes (*, †, ‡, etc.). However, when I place a footnote mark inside stackrel using \stackrel{\footnotemark}{=} for example, the symbol is positioned too high.

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The left is how I would want it to be, like \stackrel{*}{=}, the right is how it is. Here's the code for this example (I omitted \footnotetext, it's not relevant):

$\stackrel{*}{=} \;\stackrel{\footnotemark}{=}$

How can I let footnote marks in stackrel be positioned lower?

Note: I got the idea from https://tex.stackexchange.com/a/82306/23992.

  • the footnote mark is in superscript position, seems like you want \textasteriskcentered or actually since you are in math mode * Nov 26, 2014 at 13:00
  • is the * really meant to indicate a footnote? it won't be interpreted that way if it's above an = -- it will be assumed that this is just a different variation on equals. Nov 26, 2014 at 13:01
  • @DavidCarlisle yes, naturally. However, if I use *, it doesn't work if I put another footnote before (because then it should change to a dagger).
    – Keelan
    Nov 26, 2014 at 13:01
  • 1
    The standard way is not to put footnote marks in equations. a * over an = is going to look like a modified math equivalence operator not an = with a textual footnote. Nov 26, 2014 at 13:06
  • 1
    @CamilStaps I've known barbara a long time. I _always do what she says:-) (well sometimes). Nov 26, 2014 at 13:42

1 Answer 1


The \footnotemark makes a raised marker (by default) as that's the normal convention. If you just want the symbol you can use \thefootnote or, in math \text{\thefootnote} so that you locally get out of math mode. (\text is defined in amsmath).

The fact that footnotes by default do not work in math is a hint that you shouldn't be doing this. An = with a * on top is a not uncommon operator: it is a single character in Unicode, U+225B (≛) and accessable as \starequal in unicode-math or stix and perhaps other packages. Readers (including this reader when I read your question) will assume that this is intended to be some mathematical equivalence operator, not a standard = with a textual footnote.

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