Squiggly Underline in Critical Editions

Birgit Kellner birgit.kellner at UNIVIE.AC.AT
Sat Apr 7 21:20:10 UTC 2007

Stefan Baums schrieb:
> Dear Peter and Dominik,
> should underlines (squiggly or other) be considered characters at
> all?  I think of them as additional information added above the
> character level (e.g., by a Word processor’s underline function or
> an HTML tag).  As such, I am not convinced that they should be
> part of Unicode at all.  Also, if underlining is handled as a
> graphical device above the character level, then the problem that
> Dominik mentioned (oscilloscope effect) would not occur.
> To illustrate, I took the following snippet from Nala and added
> some squiggly underlining in OpenOffice:
>    http://students.washington.edu/baums/tmp/squiggly_underline.pdf
> That was straightforward in principle, though the implementation
> could be improved (the squiggle currently overlaps with subscript
> vowel signs etc.).
As an aside, that's one thing I 've been longing for since the good old 
days of DOS computing: to be able to customize the space between letters 
(roman or otherwise) and underlines (squiggly or straight). Not just 
subscript vowel signs in Devanagari, but also subscribed dots in 
transliteration usually overlap with underlining. Squiggly underlining 
is usually less problematic, as it's thinner and you can at least see 
where there's a dot beneath.

I remember weird excursions into the bizarre world of HP printer 
definitions, back then in the DOS galaxy, that produced the desired 
result (lower the lines, but not too low), but I haven't been able to 
figure out a solution with OpenOffice yet - if any of you has, I'd be 
very curious to learn.

On the general issue, I agree with Stefan - it seems odd to me that a 
form of underlining would be part of a character definition.

Best regards,


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