Please look at the following MWE. I found an automatic solution for nice roots. The depth of letters ist ignored and subscripts do not influence the depth.

But when I nest the roots, it gets ugly. What am I doing wrong? What has to be done for nice nested roots?


Sorry for using \over, but I usually use Plain (Lua-)TeX. But loading OTF fonts with low level commands would give many extra lines in the code, so I write this MWE with LuaLaTeX and Unicode Math.

% Only for LuaTeX



% to get cramped style


    \Umathcodenum`j=`i % example for goobling depth of letters
    \setbox\z@\hbox{\scantokens{\catcode`\_=\active \let_=\@gobble
                    $\m@th#1{\vphantom{0}#2}$}} % Subscripts do not influence depth
    \Uradical"0"221A {\box\r@@tbox}}

This works fine for not nested roots:
$ \sqrt A \sqrt j $, $ \sqrt{Aj} $, $ \sqrt{1_{1_1}\over Aj_{A_A}} $

However, there is a problem with nested roots:
$ \sqrt{\sqrt{\sqrt{\sqrt{\sqrt{11}}}}} $

The base of the root signs alternates and the radical rules
are vertically spaced unequal. What am I doing wrong?

  • 3
    ` \global` looks suspicious in anything that can be nested – David Carlisle Jul 16 at 22:33

If you avoid the global setting with


Then you get

enter image description here

  • Good answer. I'm putting this question in my favorites. Why does this happen with root boxes? I've also tried mtpro2[lite] and the same thing happens. – Sebastiano Jul 16 at 22:42
  • 2
    @Sebastiano it's nothing to do with roots, as I commented under the question anything using \global is likely to fail in a nested context as global definitions do not obey the nested scope. – David Carlisle Jul 16 at 22:44
  • Thank you, this is what I wanted. On this website I have already learned more about TeX than in every book. – user125730 Jul 18 at 13:53

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