Say I have something like:

First author,\textsuperscript{1,2,3} Second author,\textsuperscript{2,3} Third author, etc.

Is there a way to make the superscripts start in the same location where the comma separating the authors start? In the example above, for the first author, I would like the superscript 1 to be right on top of the first comma, while for the second author, I would like the superscript 2 to be right on top of the second comma.


2 Answers 2


Using \kern -3pt is not very good, since you don't know the width of a comma. What about this?

First author\rlap{,}\textsuperscript{1,2,3}
Second author\rlap{,}\textsuperscript{2,3} Third author, etc.

Explanation: \rlap{whatever} sets whatever "to the right of the current position", but making it occupy zero width. (There is also \llap, and \clap in the mathtools package.)


First author,\kern-3pt\textsuperscript{1,2,3} Second 
author,\kern-3pt\textsuperscript{2,3} Third author, etc.


looks ugly to me ...

  • Thanks @Herbert. This is probably a personal question about aesthetics, but what would you prefer from the next three options?: 1) Comma followed by superscripts, 2) Superscripts followed by comma, or 3) Superscripts overlapping with comma Aug 1, 2011 at 19:11
  • 2
    the first one if it refers to the author(s) and second if the reference belongs to the part of the sentence
    – user2478
    Aug 1, 2011 at 19:13
  • Personally, I sometimes do foo,\!\footnote{bar} - but not everybody likes that. And for exact overlapping, see my answer.
    – mbork
    Aug 1, 2011 at 19:50

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