Observe the following examples of combinations of subscripts and superscripts:

  $\varphi_n$ $\varphi_n^m$ $\varphi_n^{f(n)}$ $\varphi_n^f$ $\varphi_n^($

enter image description here

We can see that if a superscript is added, the subscript is automatically lowered a bit. But for some reason, this doesn't happen with $\varphi_n^{f(n)}$. A quick exploration shows that the opening parenthesis is to blame.

Why doesn't the automatic lowering of the subscript work with a parenthesis? Is this a bug? How to fix it?

  • 4
    As always on the site please provide a full (but minimal) example that others can copy and test as is. This may depend on several factors – daleif Jul 31 at 11:56
  • 6
    You get the expected output in display math mode. In inline math mode, the excessive height+depth of the parenthesis triggers a different rule (which is somewhat unexpected, I admit). – egreg Jul 31 at 11:57
  • @daleif: I've added the code. – user87690 Jul 31 at 12:04
  • I think you meant $\varphi_n^{f(n)}$ – Med-Elf Jul 31 at 12:04
  • @Electroelf Oh, sorry. I'm too used to type Unicode directly. :-) – user87690 Jul 31 at 12:04

If you want you can smash the parentheses so they don't count for positioning calculations:

 $\varphi_n$ $\varphi_n^m$ $\varphi_n^{f\smash{(n)}}$ $\varphi_n^f$ $\varphi_n^{\smash{(}}$

enter image description here

The red line was added in an image editor for illustration purposes.

| improve this answer | |
  • +1. You may want to change $\varphi_n$ to $\varphi^{}_n$ in order to show how to lower the subscript material if there's no superscript material at all. – Mico Jul 31 at 16:38

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