Using subscripts would significantly improve the structure of my code. Until now I used the following two lines to implement this.

Symbolize[ParsedBoxWrapper[SubscriptBox["_", "_"]]];

This allows me to define a symbol like

Subscript[a, r] = 10

This works fine up to the point where I want to define e.g.

f[r_] = r Subscript[a, r][r]

I want the result to be

f[x] = 10 x

The problem is that Mathematica recognizes the r in Subscript[a, r] as an variable. Hence I can not use the subscript in such a case. Is there an easy way to solve this?

  • $\begingroup$ Related: Can me use letter with a subscript as a variable?. $\endgroup$
    – dionys
    Commented Jul 21, 2015 at 13:04
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ My experience tells me that you will disappointed with the approach you are taking -- introducing subscripted variables will cause more problems than improvements to the structure of your code. $\endgroup$
    – m_goldberg
    Commented Jul 21, 2015 at 13:51

1 Answer 1


I think you may want

With[{u = Subscript[a, r]}, f[r_] := u r]


10 x

Or perhaps you want to keep Subscript[a, r] as a free variable.

g[x_] := Subscript[a, r] x
10 x
Subscript[a, r] = 42; g[x]
42 x

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