[texhax] shift subscript without superscript

David Carlisle d.p.carlisle at gmail.com
Fri Jun 10 13:32:32 CEST 2016

On 10 June 2016 at 12:09, Arno Trautmann <Arno.Trautmann at gmx.de> wrote:

> Hi all,
> this is a question that bugged me for a long time but I never dared to
> ask, nor did I find discussions of this so far. Consider the simple
> document:
> \documentclass{minimal}
> \begin{document}
> \[a_i a_i^\dagger + b_i b_i^\dagger\]
> \[a_i^{} a_i^\dagger + b_i^{\strut} b_i^\dagger\]
> \end{document}
> The first line is the normal input, and operators like this are used
> frequently in quantum physics. The disturbing point are the subscripts
> which are shifted further down if there is a superscript. I'm aware that
> this is a nice feature normally, but in this case I would like to see them
> at the same height.
> In the second line of the example, the expression with the b operators
> shows the desired result, while the expressions with a operators show the
> three different positions of the subscript.
> It is not very practical to add the ^{\strut} for every occurance –
> especially if you think of a document a colleague wrote and there are
> hundreds of these. Also, the \strut here causes too much space due to its
> excess height.
> So, finally the question: Is it possible to default the subscript of any
> expression to be at the lowest position? (And, vice versa for the
> superscript to be at the topmost position?) I'll happily appreciate TeX
> hackery, package solutions, or Lua code … whatever helps :)
> Best,
> Arno
> _______

Have a look at the subdepth package and other links from


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