# Should one put nested exponents in-line, or displayed as an equation?

(I didn't immediately see this question already asked, but perhaps it has, since it seems an obvious question to me!)

This is more of a typographical/style/best-practices question, but I am wondering when to use in-line vs equation environment when you have stacked exponents.

Here's an example:

By applying Theorem 1, we have that the graph $G$ has at most $n^{d\cdot k^{d+1}} = n^{d\cdot (2^{d-1})^{d+1}} = n ^{d\cdot 2^{d^2-1}}$
maximal cliques.


Would this be better typeset in-line or as a separate equation?

• almost never use an inline expression that requires adjusting the baseline spacing. Mar 24, 2023 at 1:22

Placing such an expression inline forces inconsistent vertical spacing, as seen between the third and fourth lines here:

This should generally be avoided when you can. (Of course, if a journal editor insists on this spacing to save some length of the article, that's out of your hands.) Better to place the tall mathematics in display:

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage{lipsum}

\begin{document}
\lipsum[1]
By applying Theorem 1, we have that the graph $G$ has at most $n^{d\cdot k^{d+1}} = n^{d\cdot (2^{d-1})^{d+1}} = n ^{d\cdot 2^{d^2-1}}$ maximal cliques.
\lipsum[2]
By applying Theorem 1, we have that the graph $G$ has at most
$n^{d\cdot k^{d+1}} = n^{d\cdot (2^{d-1})^{d+1}} = n ^{d\cdot 2^{d^2-1}}$
maximal cliques.

\end{document}