Talk:Subscript and superscript

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Merge with Superior Letter[edit]

Typography websites[1] and dictionaries[2] both indicate that superscript and superior letter are perfect synonyms, and these two articles have a lot of overlap. Since superscript is the more common appellation, I suggest to merge superior letter into this article. We would certainly replace the existing article with a redirect. Citynoise (talk) 13:29, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

I desagree. Al least in Spanish (I am from Spain), superscripts and superior letters are two distinct uses of this tipographic style. Superior letters (known in Spanish as "voladitas", "little flying" letters as the Superior letters article states) are always used for abbreviations, and are always underlined (where possible). Superscripts are used in Spanish to put inline calls and notes (like the famous wikipedia's [citation needed]), math powers, chemical isotopes and valences, etc, and never are underlined. So I vote to keep the separate articles. -Ricardo Cancho Niemietz (talk) 15:35, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
I think a merge makes sense. Include the info about Spanish voladitas as part of the subscript and superscript article.  Randall Bart   Talk  20:06, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
I also disagree. The current status with cross-linking to these related, but distinct, topics is appropriate. It is clear from the articles that these are not "perfect synonyms", whatever some individual sources may say. —DIV ( (talk) 08:18, 20 February 2009 (UTC))
Disagree. These topics are actually distinct, and few English speakers would look for Superior letter when they are thinking about a superscript or a subscript. --DThomsen8 (talk) 18:48, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

There is a stark contradiction between the Superior letter article and this article. Superior letter says The style is distinct from superscript, whereas here it says In typesetting, such types [i.e. super/subscript] are traditionally called superior and inferior letters, figures, etc., or just superiors and inferiors and then it goes on to say Superior and inferior figures on the baseline [what is a superior figure on the baseline?] are used for fractions and most other purposes, while lowered inferior figures are needed for chemical and mathematical subscripts which isn't at all compatible with the use of "superior" in the corresponding article that restricts the term to word abbreviations. I don't care either way, but there should be a minimum of consistency across articles, and if there are conflicting nomenclatures this should be made explicit. Typographically I think there is something to the view that superscript and superior are in fact distinct features, e.g. superscripts can contain anything, extend beyond the top of the line, have superscripts themselves etc. -- (talk) 17:28, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

I believe that it is worth mentioning, at least, that, in relation to digital text in word processing applications, superior letters and superscript have become synonymous, and that they are both produced the same way and are identical in modern typography. Could we say that supercript and superior letters only differ in context regarding function, but that otherwise, in appearance, they are identical?Plugee (talk) 18:49, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

Other Script Positions[edit]

This is a well written article, but is mention given to the other placements (eg overscript, underscript; also pre-subscript, pre-superscript as per text of patent 5182709) elsewhere? I couldn't find articles for the other positions, much less a meta-article discussing (or at least mentioning) all of the positions...

Examples include Mathematical notation, which commonly uses overscript and underscript (perhaps all six), and Furigana, which appears to be an instance of overscript given yokogaki (horiztonal text).

--Eibwen 19:44, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

For the latter see ruby characters.-- (talk) 17:32, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

TeX code[edit]

Isn't there a way to get superscripts in TeX without going into a maths/equation environment? Like for "1st", for example, or "Mrs". Perhaps as Superior letter? —DIV ( (talk) 09:19, 30 January 2008 (UTC))

No. Yes. Sort of.
Superscripts as such can only be produced by TeX in math mode. You can use M$^{\rm rs}$, or, if you have to cope with spaces in the superscript, M$^{\hbox{\scriptsize foo bar}}$. There is a LaTeX macro called \textsuperscript which you can use like M\textsuperscript{rs}, but it actually expands to something equivalent to the \hbox \scriptsize code above (along with a lot of garbage), so it also uses math mode even if it's not apparent on the surface (and it's not really easier to type).
If you really want to avoid math mode, you can try some box shuffling, such as M\raise.8ex\hbox{\scriptsize rs}. This solution however relies on empirical font-dependent constants (like the 0.8ex above), which makes it rather inelegant.
Ordinal superscripts are bad style anyway, so the best way to write "1st" in TeX is 1st. -- EJ (talk) 10:54, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Update the Desktop Publishing section[edit]

The Desktop Publishing section uses outdated programs. It would be better if the latest versions of each of these programs (e.g. Word 2010 instead of Word 2002) were used, especially because some of these shortcuts might have changed since the old programs were used.

HTML superscripts placed "too high"[edit]

Note that superscripts are usually placed too high for many typographic purposes.

The HTML section makes the vague and unsupported claim that superscripts in HTML are placed too high. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Einstein9073 (talkcontribs) 18:45, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

This looks fishy, indeed.—Emil J. 09:33, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Merge with Unicode subscripts and superscripts[edit]

There is already more extensive information about the layout of super- and subscripts in Unicode within the present article. It seems likely to me that a user will search here before searching for a specific Unicode-related version of the article. (It took me a few days to accidentally happen upon this article, where it is revealed that there is in fact no superscript q in Unicode!) babbage (talk) 23:11, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Position adjustment in italic/oblique/slanted styles no longer relevant, example doesn't work out.[edit]

Maybe this should include a line that this may not happen in modern browsers?

I'm using Aurora 13.0a2 (2012-03-28) and the text renders with perfect kerning for me. At first I didn't understand what the example was about.

Maybe it should be replaced with a picture of the problem in a browser with incorrect rendering, and accompanied by an explanation that it occurred like that in version X of browser Y. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:15, 28 March 2012 (UTC)


How do you form plurals of variables with subscripts? Let's say I want to form the plural of ε0. Is it ε0s? Or ε0's? Or something else? --Polis Tyrol (talk) 14:10, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Error in article[edit]

In the section Subscript and superscript#Superscripts that typically do not extend above the ascender line, does this text look correct:

Ordinal indicators are sometimes written as superscripts (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, rather than 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th)

--LukasMatt (talk) 03:28, 19 May 2014 (UTC)