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
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:
Underlining is used to designate links. That's all. If you need something, you can use the wealth of options that are supported in posts such as bold, italics, headers, block quotes, or even just regular "quoting". (Many of these can be combined too.)
You should not use Unicode hacks to try to include underlining because it causes problems for accessibility:
- It complicates copying and pasting. Depending on where you're typing, you can't get rid of the Unicode easily and you're forced to retype it all.
- It breaks many translation tools (e.g. Google Translate, the translate option in iOS).
- It breaks popup dictionaries.
- Not all fonts may support it. (Other times it just looks ugly, though that's more of an aesthetic problem.)
- It's liable to be confused with links.
- Best case scenario for screen readers (or any TTS) is that it ignores the Unicode underlines, causing minor confusion. (That's what happens with Voice Over, at least for text that uses combining characters, since there are regular letters in there.) Worst case scenario is that it makes the entire word unintelligible.
- Digression: Screen readers don't tell you when anything is underlined (as websites can use CSS to apply underlining). Why is underlining links recommended for accessibility then? It's purely for people who navigate the web visually, since a screen reader will say the word "link" either before or after it says the text of the link.
Underlining is in enough demand that other users have found workarounds, such as the use of combining character U+0332 described here at Meta.