I have been trying to reformat a recent post which calls for superscript to a footnote, and I will be danged if I can see how to do it without getting into (sup) with the little wedgie thingies — which doesn't seem to work here: as soon as I put them in the text they disappear, like this: 11 (that was 1<sup>1) — or rewriting the entire block of text in HTML.

Example..see this answer and last para as well as the comments below it .

An unanswered question on the topic.

How the heck do you do superscripts, at the beginning and also the end of text? And why don't we have a button to make it more convenient? Or am I missing something?


2 Answers 2


You can do it with regular HTML notation in accordance with the following coding:


When you use this code in your post, it produces a 1 that looks like this: 1

  • 1
    I just figured it out. Thanks! This thread also has some guidance on the subject. stackoverflow.com/questions/15155778/… Jul 16, 2019 at 19:58
  • I'm sorry...{curly brackets} are supposed to work like <angle brackets> (wedgie thingies)? Or I should only use angle brackets? Jul 16, 2019 at 20:55
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    @Cascabel: Curly brackets have no significance. I think Sven was using them as "escape characters" to replace angle brackets so that the quote block wouldn't just contain a superscript 1.
    – herisson
    Jul 16, 2019 at 21:19
  • Gotcha, @sumelic , and thanks. This has been confusing enough for an old guy like me who has to depend on his teen-age daughter for help in HTML. BTW, even she had to struggle with it, and finally gave up due to the peculiarities of the site. Jul 16, 2019 at 21:26
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    What other HTML codes work here? Is there a list somewhere? Jul 26, 2019 at 19:47
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    @JohnLawler: I wish I knew. I figured this one out a few years ago by trial and error—but there must be a usable HTML reference list for this site somewhere. Do you know, sumelic? tchrist? Andrew Leach? Laurel? I gather from Andrew Leach's answer that the particular HTML code set that EL&U uses is called Markdown, but I don't know what its powers and limitations are, except that it evidently doesn't support small caps by simple HTML tagging.
    – Sven Yargs
    Jul 26, 2019 at 19:53

Markdown supports a limited subset of HTML. Superscript and subscript tags are included:

Text <sup>up</sup> Text <sub>down</sub>

Text up Text down

Some fonts come with a full or nearly-full set of superscript and subscript glyphs. Georgia Pro, the font used here, doesn't; but it does come with numbers which you can enter using Unicode references. Exactly how depends on your operating system; you may be reduced to using charmap or something similar.


You can also use a utility such as https://yaytext.com/tiny-text/ which will create Unicode characters for you. It has to make some assumptions and not every character is available. It also ends up a bit small here.

Text ˢᵘᵖᵉʳˢᶜʳᶦᵖᵗ

However another utility at the same site does a reasonable job of small capitals, which aren't easy otherwise and which are useful in dictionary references:

Over, see ᴄʀɪᴄᴋᴇᴛ.

It's probably worth adding that if you want an angle-bracket to appear, you either need to enclose it in code-quotes (that's the backtick quote) or use the HTML entity &lt;

  • Being that this is a site that would greatly benefit from a font that uses "a full or nearly-full set of superscript and subscript glyphs" , why are we using Georgian Pro? Jul 16, 2019 at 20:16
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    Well, generally only numbers are required. I find myself wanting small capitals more. And actually, the number of fonts available as web fonts with a complete character set is very small.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Jul 16, 2019 at 20:24
  • Well, what I am thinking is that sometimes footnotes come in different flavors i.e. (*), (**) and a variety of symbols which are not numbers. Sorry, I am kinda ignorant on this stuff. and if my question seems asinine please let me know. Jul 16, 2019 at 21:34
  • Does this not beg the question.."Which font works best for the purposes of EL&U?" Or maybe, "How is our present font impeding posts"? Jul 16, 2019 at 21:39
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    You may need to mug up on HTML entities like &dagger; &ddagger; and things like \* to preserve an asterisk as an asterisk. (I edited your comment to put it right). Also, if you search Meta for font georgia you'll find a number of posts.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Jul 16, 2019 at 22:17
  • Thanks...I do admit that I was lost trying to do that correctly...your continuing help is an inspiration for me. I think maybe we could do with some "markup for dummies" here...in a FAQ or sumpin' Jul 16, 2019 at 22:19
  • @Cascabel I recall seeing something of that sort in some meta, not on ELU perhaps.
    – NVZ Mod
    Jul 17, 2019 at 2:41
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    I wouldn't encourage the use of unicode substitutions for regular alpha-numerical characters; you don't know what tools will or won't have trouble for them. Those unicode characters should only be used for their intended uses (often in maths/science.) Jul 17, 2019 at 11:27
  • The Unicode characters for raised ⁰ ¹ ² ³ ⁴ ⁵ ⁶ ⁷ ⁸ ⁹ and lowered ₀ ₁ ₂ ₃ ₄ ₅ ₆ ₇ ₈ ₉ numerals are handy, and also letters for formal linguistics like ʷ ʸ ʰ ⁿ ᵗ ᵈ ˢ and ᵢ ⱼ ᵣ ᵤ ᵥ ᵦ ᵩ ᵪ. Jul 26, 2019 at 19:59

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