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3.1.3 Fontification of mathematical constructs

In LaTeX mathematics can be indicated by a variety of different methods: toggles (like dollar signs), macros and environments. Math constructs known by font-latex are displayed with the face font-latex-math-face. Support for dollar signs and shorthands like ‘\(...\)’ or ‘\[...\]’ is built-in and not customizable. Support for other math macros and environments can be adapted by customizing the variables font-latex-match-math-command-keywords and font-latex-math-environments respectively.

In order to make math constructs more readable, font-latex displays subscript and superscript parts in a smaller font and raised or lowered respectively. This fontification feature can be controlled with the variables font-latex-fontify-script and font-latex-script-display.

User Option: font-latex-fontify-script

If non-nil, fontify subscript and superscript strings. Concretely, this means that the scripts are raised or lowered.

Another possiblity is setting this variable to the symbol multi-level. In this case, in a formula x^{y^z}, y is raised above and smaller than x, and z is raised above and smaller than y. With many script levels, the text might become too small to be readable. (See font-latex-fontify-script-max-level below.)

Lastly, you can set this variable to invisible whose behavior is like multi-level, and in addition the super-/subscript characters ^ and _ are not displayed.

Note that this feature is not available on XEmacs, for which it is disabled per default. In GNU Emacs raising and lowering is not enabled for versions 21.3 and before due to it working not properly.

User Option: font-latex-fontify-script-max-level

Maximum scriptification level for which script faces are applied.

The faces font-latex-superscript-face and font-latex-subscript-face define custom :height values < 1.0. Therefore, scripts are displayed with a slightly smaller font than normal math text. If font-latex-fontify-script is multi-level or invisible, the font size becomes too small to be readable after a few levels. This option allows to specify the maximum level after which the size of the script text won’t be shrunken anymore.

For example, in the expression x^{y^{z^a_b}}, x has scriptification level 0, y has level 1, z has level 2, and both a and b have scriptification level 3.

If font-latex-fontify-script-max-level was 2, then z, a, and b would have the same font size. If it was 3 or more, then a and b were smaller than z just in the same way as z is smaller than y and y is smaller than x.

The script characters ‘^’ and ‘_’ themselves are also fontified with an own face named font-latex-script-char-face.

User Option: font-latex-script-display

Display specification for subscript and superscript content. The car is used for subscript, the cdr is used for superscript. The feature is implemented using so-called display properties. For information on what exactly to specify for the values, see (elisp)Other Display Specs section ‘Other Display Specifications’ in GNU Emacs Lisp Reference Manual.


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