Consider the MWE below. In the first notation the superindex is higher than necessary since the lower end of the brackets is taken as reference point for the box in which the superindex is set. This is UGLY! Solution: use \smash.

Is there any method how I can tell LaTeX (by some code in the preamble) that $^{(N)}$ should be globally changed to $^{\smash{(N)}}$?

Unfortunatelly, I discovered smash too late and the doc is too long now to do this manually.

  $X^{(N)}_t$ vs $X^N_t$ vs $X^{\smash{(N)}}_t$

PS: Or is it bad LaTeX style to use smash too often? i suppose one had better interfere with LaTeX as little as possible: so is my aesthetic criticism of the notation without smash exaggerated?

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    @moderators: Feel free to edit title and tags! Didn't know how to describe my problem. – lpdbw Aug 11 '12 at 12:37
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    This probably best undertaken with the searh and replace facilities of a text editor – Andrew Swann Aug 11 '12 at 15:24
  • Yes, that's what I first thought of too and in fact my editor, WinEdt, has quite a good replace facility. But nevertheless there are so many instances of $^{(N)}$ that a LaTeX solution would be nice. – lpdbw Aug 11 '12 at 16:00
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    @lpdbw: No leave it as it is. If you subscript extends upwards the suff will overlap with a \smash, e.g.: $X^{\smash{(N)}}_d$ – Danie Els Aug 12 '12 at 3:56
  • @Danie Els: Thanks for your opinion! Really helps me. Think I got a bit mad over this issue ;-D. I will just leave it non-smashed and save myself a lot of time :-) – lpdbw Aug 12 '12 at 7:05

LaTeX moves the super/subscripts to avoid overlaps, which means that you should leave them as they are (even though they are at different heights depending on the exact contents).

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