The expression $\lim^1$ is often used in homological algebra, where the superscript always appears on the top-right of the \lim-term, never immediately above it. I run into issues when I want to typeset this term, but also with a subscript indicating the index the limit is being taken over.

I could not find a satisfactory way to typeset this. Ideally, I'd like to have two ways to typeset lim^1: one for displaystyle and one for textstyle. The textstyle version should render the same as $\lim_n^1$. The trouble is, ideally I'd have one command for this operation, say \limder, but defining this via something like \DeclareMathOperator{\limder}{\lim^1} would yield a faulty spacing on the subscript (in text mode):

faulty subscript spacing

The display style should render the index underneath the limit, but centered underneath the word "lim" (i.e., as if the superscript ^1 weren't there). I tried to use option 5 from this answer, but that makes the index center underneath the entire expression instead of just under the lim-term:



incorrect horizontal alignment

How would I find a way to typeset both of these correctly? I suppose that with \mathchoice I could merge two separate commands, one for display and the other for textstyle, so two separate commands as solutions would solve the problem.

{\lim  \IfValueT{#1}{_{\mathclap{#1}}}{}^{\!1\!}\mathop{}}
{\lim^1  \IfValueT{#1}{_{#1}}}
{\lim^1  \IfValueT{#1}{_{#1}}}
{\lim^1  \IfValueT{#1}{_{#1}}}}
\parskip 1em
$\displaystyle\limder x$

$\displaystyle\limder_{n} x$

$\displaystyle\limder_{n\rightarrow\infty} x$

$\limder x$

$\limder_{n} x$

$\limder_{n\rightarrow\infty} x$

enter image description here

  • I accepted this solution over the others, because this one results in a command which resembles \lim in every way. The others all had a little difference of some sort.
    – SvanN
    Apr 5 at 14:12

Something like this?

enter image description here

\usepackage{amsmath} % for '\DeclareMathOpertor*' macro
\DeclareMathOperator*{\limone}{lim^{\rlap{\scriptsize 1}}}
$\limone_{n\to\infty} x_n \quad \displaystyle \limone_{n\to\infty} x_n$
  • 3
    There are spacing issues in displaystyle if the subscript is too short. For example, \limone_n x_n.
    – Sandy G
    Apr 2 at 17:50
  • There is another downside to this solution I'm afraid. When using this in a theorem environment (where all text is put in italics), the superscript 1 appears in italics also. I'm sure that's easy to fix though.
    – SvanN
    Apr 5 at 14:13
  • @SvanN - "I'm sure that's easy to fix though." Absolutely. Just change \scriptsize 1 to \scriptsize\upshape 1.
    – Mico
    Apr 5 at 16:11

You can use \sideset when in display style.




0&\to\lim_n x_n \\
0&\to\derlim{1}_n x_n \\
0&\to\derlim{11}_n x_n \\
&\to\smash{\kern-0.1pt\vrule height 2.5cm width 0.1pt} % just to show the alignment

\derlim{1}_{n} F \\
\begin{center}% text style
$\derlim{1}_{n} F$


enter image description here

  • This does what I want, however, upon close inspection, it acts a little differently from the usual \lim. My testcase was to compare (in a display mode) 0 \to \lim_n x_n and 0 \to \derlim{1}_n x_n, and there is a spacing difference: there is a larger space between the arrowhead and \derlim than with \lim.
    – SvanN
    Apr 5 at 14:15
  • @SvanN There was an added thin space to take care of.
    – egreg
    Apr 5 at 14:29

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