The introduction of tables was a great addition to the Electrical Engineering substack, since I often want to quote tables from electronic component datasheets. An actual table is far more functional than a screenshot of a table even if it often takes up more room.

But now that I start converting screenshots into real tables I see a pressing need to render text with overline which is used to denote that a signal is inverted. It is very common when discussing topics in electrical engineering, and I have not found a way to do it on Stack Exchange.

Here is an example of what I want to achieve. Note the bar over the text CS/LD in the first column:

Example of table text with an overline

According to the answers to the question Is there a way to overline text in (GitHub flavoured) Markdown? there could be two or three ways to solve this, but I've found that neither works well.


Quoted: <span style="text-decoration:overline">RESET</span> Rendered: RESET

This would be the preferred method, but it seems to be filtered out by the renderer and I can't see why. The quote from We're switching to CommonMark seems to be false:

I’ve prepared a feature that will swap out our current, home-grown Markdown renderers with well-tested open-source implementations that adhere to the CommonMark specification. For the curious: this means we’re replacing PageDown with markdown-it on the client side and MarkdownSharp with markdig on the server side.

markdig's output on Babelmark renders this correctly. So does the CommonMark reference implementation.

markdown-it strips HTML tags by default, but the output on Babelmark does not look like the preview here.

Unicode Combining Overline

Unicode lets you add a Combining Overline to each character, but this is not optimal:


Where MathJax is enabled you can use something like $\rm\overline{RESET}$. This changes the font, adds a lot of unnecessary complexity, and only works on a few select sites.

  • 3
    The SE team does also check per-site metas for feature requests and bug reports, not only this site, so if this is truly specific to EE.SE you should post on their meta. Commented Dec 12, 2020 at 0:40
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    @SonictheK-DayHedgehog I considered that but decided to post here for two reasons. 1. Every time someone asks about a feature on the EE meta the answer is always "Rendering is site-wide so we can't change anything", and 2. This would be useful for any site dealing with electronics, logic, and mathematics, so I thought I'd start here.
    – pipe
    Commented Dec 12, 2020 at 0:57
  • 2
  • There's over 500 overline questions already, and as you can see, MathJax tables are trivial to compose and easy to read; example at the end shows it adds three lines to the data.
    – Rob
    Commented Dec 12, 2020 at 1:52
  • O̅v̅e̅r̅l̅i̅n̅e̅ ̅e̅x̅a̅m̅p̅l̅e̅ - generated by: fsymbols.com/generators/overline - there's more than one site that offers that service.
    – Rob
    Commented Dec 12, 2020 at 1:59
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    @Rob I covered the MathJax hack and the unicode-version in the actual question. I also mentioned how broken it is. What is the point of your comment? It doesn't render correctly in many browsers.
    – pipe
    Commented Dec 12, 2020 at 2:01
  • 5
    pipe, the "point" of my comment is: many people already have worked around the problem. --- Using MathJax correctly doesn't produce an unusable font, and it can easily be stored in an HTML comment on non-MathJax sites. --- I suggest that you offer a more convincing reason to assign the time and expense of having a developer perfect what you perceive as less than perfect results; that are already accepted by 1000's of people. Stack Exchange requires strong reason to spend the money. You are welcome to leave your Feature Request as-is, and reject offered advice; it's common practice.
    – Rob
    Commented Dec 12, 2020 at 2:34
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    Eh. Its in the spec, there might be sites other than EE that could use it. I'd totally see myself status-reviewing this if I knew its something the devs were working on. There is no good reason to throw cold water on this feature request. Commented Dec 12, 2020 at 2:53
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    @JourneymanGeek I don't think it's in the spec. I don't think the spec covers much styling at all - markdown is mostly converting to HTML; CSS doesn't really enter the equation. The effect wanted here, though, is a question of styling. The reason it works for the implementations mentioned here is the CSS class involved having that effect.
    – muru
    Commented Dec 12, 2020 at 4:19
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    Also related meta post: What HTML tags are allowed on Stack Exchange sites?: because the <span> tag is not supported, so while it might be rendered on the client, it will be stripped on the server anyway. Commented Dec 12, 2020 at 7:32


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