I have had trouble trying to express a sigma sum formula.

Please do not think I have been lazy, I have been lazy, it is just I have up attempting to work it out after over 2 hours (when my actual question still remains to be written).

I was intending to specify a sigma with a variable ( n) at the top right of it And a (i=1) on the bottom right of the sigma. I have made many attempts, but I cannot have an "=" expression instead of a simple variable (like i on its own).

Many thanks


3 Answers 3


I think you want something like this $$\sum_{i=1}^n a_i$$

This is given by \sum_{i=1}^n a_i.

Formatting tips here.

If you omit the curly braces, then characters will be omitted. For example Notice the difference when I write \frac123 $$\frac123$$ versus \frac{1}{23} $$\frac{1}{23}$$.

  • $\begingroup$ Much appreciated, thank you for offering that. $\endgroup$
    – Mr a
    Jan 18, 2016 at 18:45


if you want a bigger sigma so


$\displaystyle\sum\limits_{i=1}^{\infty} $

  • $\begingroup$ There are also \sum_{i=1}^{\infty} and \displaystyle\sum_{i=1}^{\infty} giving $\sum_{i=1}^{\infty}$ and $\displaystyle\sum_{i=1}^{\infty}$ $\endgroup$
    – Henry
    Jan 19, 2016 at 10:51
  • $\begingroup$ Please never ever use \displaystyle or \limits in inline math. It looks horrible. $\endgroup$ Jan 19, 2016 at 11:01
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @NajibIdrissi I think that it looks good, but it is your right to think what ever you want $\endgroup$
    – 3SAT
    Jan 19, 2016 at 11:06
  • $\begingroup$ Okay... $\endgroup$ Jan 19, 2016 at 11:11

It sounds like your are looking for the code for $\sum_{i=1}^n$, which is $\sum_{i=1}^n$.

The point here is that the command _ which makes the lower index just takes the first character of some larger text unless you put curly brackets around the whole text. The same is true for ^.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks that was exactly what I was trying to achieve. I made the mistake of having them both I seperate pairs of brackets. $\endgroup$
    – Mr a
    Jan 18, 2016 at 18:44

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