I am trying to post a quote as part of a question. The quote includes a portion of a sentence that is underlined and I can't see how to do that here. It isn't under Styling/Headers, and I've tried [u]underline[/u] and that also didn't work. What is the formatting for underline here? Thanks

  • 3
    To include a quote in a question, use the blockquote mechanism, ie prefix each line with a >. There is no provision for underlining in StackExchange. Unicode contains some pre-underlined characters, so you can use those, and there are even online services that let you type a text and they will replace all the characters with their underlined counterparts, where they exist, so you could find one of those and use it to create texts to be pasted here. But he result is usually very unpleasant-looking. Better to stick with blockquotes. Also this question is about the site, so belongs on [Meta].
    – Dan Bron
    May 20 '17 at 10:31
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    By the way: This is not a forum.
    – Wrzlprmft
    May 21 '17 at 6:37
  • Since posts/answers are formatted with Markdown, ordinarily <u>underlined text</u> would work—but that’s disallowed, I guess for the reasons indicated in Andrew Leach’s answer.
    – Jon Purdy
    May 28 '17 at 22:39

Underlining is not supported in user posts.

One reason is that underlining in web pages is customarily used for links, and your text would [probably] not be a link. The other reason is that the designers don't like it: underlining isn't used in any Stack Exchange site, as far as I am aware — even for links.

Normally, it's acceptable to find some other form of emphasis. If underlining is only used to draw attention to a few words, then bold or italic will do just as well. However, there are conventions there too: italic is used for mentions of a word, and bold is preferred for emphasis.

Dan Bron has already commented about using the > character as a prefix for a quoted paragraph. Within the quote, you can use any of the available forms of emphasis. But underlining is not one of them.

Note: many user agents/operating systems can have problems with special Unicode characters such as those which include or combine to make an underline, or provide small capitals or whatever. Please don't use them. For example, although ̲a appears fine in a monospaced font, it probably doesn't look right in Georgia as used for the body text in this site: ̲a. It certainly doesn't look right in my browser — this is what I see:

Screenshot of combining characters

  • Of course, since this post, underlining has appeared for links. But the underlying reason for not allowing plain underlining still holds: it's [now] reserved for links.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Aug 15 '21 at 8:16

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