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The Org Mode 7 Reference Manual
by Carsten Dominik and others
Paperback (6"x9"), 282 pages
ISBN 9781906966089
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11.7.2 Subscripts and superscripts

Just like in LaTeX, ‘^’ and ‘_’ are used to indicate super- and subscripts. Again, these can be used without embedding them in math-mode delimiters. To increase the readability of ASCII text, it is not necessary (but OK) to surround multi-character sub- and superscripts with curly braces. For example

The mass of the sun is M_sun = 1.989 x 10^30 kg.  The radius of
the sun is R_{sun} = 6.96 x 10^8 m.

To avoid interpretation as raised or lowered text, you can quote ‘^’ and ‘_’ with a backslash: ‘\^’ and ‘\_’. If you write a text where the underscore is often used in a different context, Org's convention to always interpret these as subscripts can get in your way. Configure the variable org-export-with-sub-superscripts to globally change this convention, or use, on a per-file basis:

#+OPTIONS: ^:{}

With this setting, ‘a_b’ will not be interpreted as a subscript, but ‘a_{b}’ will.

C-c C-x \
In addition to showing entities as UTF-8 characters, this command will also format sub- and superscripts in a WYSIWYM way.
ISBN 9781906966089The Org Mode 7 Reference ManualSee the print edition