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Some wiki engines offer markup for superscript and subscript text.

Proposed markups#


Superscripted text

Creole: ^^This is superscripted text^^

Proposed XHTML: <sup> </sup>

Comparison: http://www.wikimatrix.org/syntax.php?i=28


Subscripted text

Creole: ~~This is subscripted text~~ or ,,This is subscripted text,,

Proposed XHTML: <sub> </sub>

Comparison on wikimatrix: http://www.wikimatrix.org/syntax.php?i=29


Use cases#

  • Superscript
    • Basic maths
    • Units of measurement (e.g. square meter - m²)
    • Large numbers, metric scientific notation (e.g. 1,253x10²³)
    • Ordinal numbers (e.g. 1^^st^^, 2^^nd^^, 18^^th^^ century, in French 1^^er^^, 2^^e^^, 18^^e^^ siècle)
    • Possibly for footnotes (shouldn't it be handled by another mechanism than what is considered, in that particular case, as a presentation markup)
  • Subscript
    • Basic maths
    • Basic chemistry



  • Simple way to insert superscripted/subscripted text
  • The users don't have to learn a new language.
  • Basic functions in most word processors
  • Semantic value
  • Depending on the software/keyboard layout, it might be very difficult or impossible to insert Unicode superscript or subscript digits.
  • Unicode digits are limited to... digits!
  • Inline with Cover the common things people need (is it?)
  • NotNew, a lot of wiki engines offer markup for superscript and subscript text. HTML offers it.
  • The presentation of successive Unicode digits is not always nice (see above or this source).


  • Better alternatives exist
  • New markups to learn, NotNew though.
  • Markup characters can be hard to find on several keyboard layouts

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« This particular version was published on 30-Jan-2007 08:48 by Eric Chartre.