I'm beautifying some HW solutions for the upcoming semester, and came across a kerning issue

\[C_{in} \ \ C_{out} \ \ C_{eff}\]


The output:

enter image description here

The "in" and "out" subscripts look fine, but "eff" seems very spread out. Is there a quick fix?

  • 12
    That’s because the eff is interpreted as e times f times f, and the same goes for in and out. So you should either use the \mathit by @Sebastiano in the answer, or \mathrm, or \text, etc. Aug 27, 2018 at 20:44
  • 2
    @RuixiZhang My thoughts exactly. Aug 27, 2018 at 20:45

1 Answer 1


In math-mode you should to use \mathit{...} (slanted} or \mathbf{...} (bold) or normal \mathrm{...} for any type of the text into math formula.

enter image description here

\[C_{\mathit{in}} \ \ C_{\mathit{out}} \ \ C_{\mathit{eff}}\]
\[C_{\mathrm{in}} \ \ C_{\mathrm{out}} \ \ C_{\mathrm{eff}}\]
\[C_{\mathbf{in}} \ \ C_{\mathbf{out}} \ \ C_{\mathbf{eff}}\]
  • 5
    +1 I would recommend \mathrm since eff is rather a label (short for effective) and not a variable (e times f times f). At least this is the convention that I am aware of. Aug 27, 2018 at 20:43
  • 2
    @Dr.ManuelKuehner I have forgotten \mathrm :-(. Now edit my answer. +1
    – Sebastiano
    Aug 27, 2018 at 20:44
  • 6
    Alternatively, you can use \text from the amsmath package. But there are different opinions about this: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/70632 Aug 27, 2018 at 20:51
  • 2
    Another alternative, \operatorname, is good if you ever need to set in, out or eff next to some other identifier. That formats and spaces it like the word log or sin.
    – Davislor
    Aug 28, 2018 at 5:02

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