I tried to use

\begin{reaction} E + S <=>[$k_1$][$k_{-1}$] ES <=> EP <=> E + P \end{reaction}

but it wouldn't display the subscripts properly. I'm using sharelatex.com but I run MacTeX offline.


I suspect by

it wouldn't display the subscripts properly

you mean that the underscore is printed instead of interpreted as subscript?

You have two options:

  • leave spaces around the math or
  • use \sb instead of _

Since this is unrelated to the chemmacros package and its {reaction} environment but really is due to the behaviour of chemformula I don't use chemmacros in the following example:

enter image description here


% wrong:
\ch{ E + S <=>[$k_1$][$k_{-1}$] ES <=> EP <=> E + P }

% works:
\ch{ E + S <=>[$k\sb{1}$][$k\sb{-1}$] ES <=> EP <=> E + P }

% works but inserts a space in front of the math:
\ch{ E + S <=>[ $k_1$ ][ $k_{-1}$ ] ES <=> EP <=> E + P }

% works:
\ch[math-space=0pt]{ E + S <=>[ $k_1$ ][ $k_{-1}$ ] ES <=> EP <=> E + P }

  • Just stumbled upon this with the same question… How would I know to use \sb? I managed to find some information about the command, but can't find anything that points it out as an alias for _ (latexdef -f _ doesn't mention the alias, though latexdef -f sb points back to the original definition). Any suggestions here? Jan 30 '19 at 15:41
  • @DustinWheeler It should be mentioned in a comprehensive LaTeX introduction. The LaTeX kernel itself does \let\sp=^ and \let\sb=_
    – cgnieder
    Jan 31 '19 at 13:13
  • Ahh, thanks. I should get used to digging into code more often… the idea still doesn't come naturally to me. BTW, your chem packages are fantastic, thanks for the great work! Jan 31 '19 at 16:58

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