Bold and italics simply aren't enough. This is especially true in the case of websites on the sciences and languages, where a lot of explanation needs to be provided. The formatting package should come with all the three options: bold and italics and underline.

Underline should be included in the formatting package of all SE sites.

My reasons for it:

  • When you've bolded and italicised as much as you possibly could and still have other things to highlight, you run out of options. Overusing bold ad italics doesn't look very good. Italicising isn't a sensible alternative to underlining, since it isn't that noticeable. To set apart the most significant piece of text within a writing that's bolded and italicised all over, you need a distinct formatting.

    For instance, consider this question. Compare this

    Without underline

    with this

    With underline

    Anyone who remotely understands style and how formatting works will agree the underline looks better and serves a very useful purpose.

  • The major argument against the use of underline is that they can be easily confused with links. Yes, possible — but people using the computer for quite some days should easily be able to distinguish. (Even if they can't, the misunderstanding doesn't have any serious consequences. Everybody eventually gets that.) If the difference between a hyperlink and a simple underline were so foggy, HTML and MS Word wouldn't have supported underline. And besides, hyperlinks in SE don't have underlines so it's highly unlikely that an average user would fail to differentiate between them.

  • 1
    Can you give specific examples where you feel underlining is necessary? Thanks.
    – HDE 226868
    Jul 4, 2017 at 15:49
  • Fun fact: It is actually available in one site, Japanese.SE.
    – Laurel
    Jul 4, 2017 at 16:55
  • @Laurel That isn't even normal underline. Jul 4, 2017 at 23:54


Browse other questions tagged .