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  1. Use ital func <keyword>, like V_{ital func in}. This would do the trick in the default configuration, when variables and functions differ only in italics. But (a) it is long, and (b) it will fail if you setup your formula fonts so that function names also use different font face: then italicized function name will still differ visually from variables. A variant of the same approach is uoper <keyword> {}, as in V_{uoper in {}} - but it seems to use the same font as variables, without need to specify ital explicitly.
  2. Use ital "keyword", like V_{ital "in"}. The shortest of all workarounds; still has the same problem as #1: if you change font of text in your formula, this workaround will not produce correct result.
  3. Use explicit font definition, using font Serif size 12 bold ital "in". Most verbose; allows you to match your customized font chosen for variables... but if you later decide to change formula fonts (e.g., using an extension allowing you to do it in all formulas at once), you will need to look through all your formulas with those workarounds and change that manually.
  4. Use nospace keyword, like in V_nospace {i n}. This takes the following separate elements and joins them - almost as if they are one word. Slightly longer than #2; but IMO, it's the best option, since it gives you the formatting of variables which you choose in the formula. Yes, still a workaround.