In mathematics, it is common to use as part of the language notation small symbols written at the top or bottom of a given symbol. These are called subscript and superscript, respectively. In this short tutorial, we will learn** how to do subscript and superscript in LaTeX**!

## Superscript in LaTeX

The most usual example of superscript we all learn in school is when we want to square a number \(2^2 = 4\), cube it \(2^3 = 8\), or, in general, raise it to the power of \(n\), \(2^n\). **Superscripts can be done in LaTeX using the symbol ^**. For example, $2^2=4$ produces the output \(2^2 = 4\).

## How to do subscript in LaTeX

Subscripts are mainly used when we want to list certain elements, like let \(x_1,x_2,…,x_n\) be rational numbers. **Subscript in LaTeX can be created easily using the symbol _ (underscore)**. For example, $x_1,x_2,\ldots,x_n$ produces the list \(x_1,x_2, \ldots ,x_n\).

## Subscript with more than one element

When we want to **include more than one element in the subscript we will have to enclose those elements inside braces**. For example, you can check the output produced by the following code:

$ x_{12345} \quad x_12$

which is:

\( x_{12345} \quad x_12\)

You can see the difference between using the braces and not using them. **The same goes for the superscripts**!

## Subscript and superscript (combined)

**Subscripts and superscripts** can be both **used at the same time**, as in the equation:

$a_{ij}b_{kl}=\delta_{i}^{l}$

which produces the output:

\( a_{ij}b_{kl}=\delta_{i}^{l} \)

**And they can even be nested (e.g. double subscript)**, for example:

x^{y^{z}}=a_{b_{c_{d}}}

produces:

\(x^{y^{z}}=a_{b_{c_{d}}}\)

It is a bit subtle, but observe that the first **nested subscripts or superscript has a slightly smaller size than the previous one.** However, from that point on, all nested subscripts or superscripts will have the same size as the second level.

## Math operator with subscript and superscript

Certain **mathematical operators require subscripts, superscripts, or both. These sub and superscripts are also inserted using the _ and ^ symbols**; LaTeX automatically knows where to typeset them depending on the kind of operator that is being used. Some of the most common ones are the following:

\[

\int_{-\infty}^{\infty} \quad

\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \quad

\prod_{j=1}^{n} \quad

\bigcup_{i \in I} \quad

\bigcap_{i \in I} \quad

\coprod_{k=1}^{\infty} \quad

\lim_{n\to \infty}

\]

which are produced with the code:

% Math Operators with subscripts and superscripts \[ \int_{-\infty}^{\infty} \quad \sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \quad \prod_{j=1}^{n} \quad \bigcup_{i \in I} \quad \bigcap_{i \in I} \quad \coprod_{k=1}^{\infty} \quad \lim_{n\to \infty} \]

Most subscript and superscript, also **called limits, in the case of the operators will be printed differently when used inline, mainly by positioning them at the top or bottom right**. For instance, the first two operators of the previous example are: \( \int_{-\infty}^{\infty}\) and \(\sum_{n=1}^{\infty}\)

**If you don’t like this new behavior and prefer for legibility that they take up a larger amount of space than a normal line, you can use the command \displaystyle inside math mode**. For example:

$\displaystyle \int_{-\infty}^{\infty}$

produces the output \( \displaystyle \int_{-\infty}^{\infty} \) compared to the previous one: \( \int_{-\infty}^{\infty} \).

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