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Dear Janet

Do you feel the Subscript and Superscript can also be used accepting negative numbers, fractional numbers, decimal numbers, complex numbers, trigonometric values, logarithm, antilog, Unicode characters  etc other than Whole numbers (Integers) in future applications viz Typography, Chemistry, Physics etc

Examples : -3, 2/3, 3.14, −3.5 + 2i, Sin 30, log 100, antilog 2, (Copyright sign) etc

i.e. Superscripts and Subscript accepting other numbers, characters other than whole numbers.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Dear Prashant,

Unicode already contains a limited number of super- and subscript characters that are not integers. The list can certainly be extended, but I think it impractical to use such characters in interactive software. Most users would have to cut-and-paste them into the application. (I am able to TYPE many of these characters on my iMac, but only because I learned how to re-program my keyboard. On any other computer, I have to cut-and-paste.)

Another problem is the limitation of computer monitors. Not all computer monitors can display these characters. For example, in the quoted passage below, eight of the characters are unreadable on my system. Sometimes I email equations, only to learn that the recipient cannot read the math symbols. In such situations, I resubmit the equation as a graphic image instead of Unicode text.



"Consolidated for cut-and-pasting purposes, the Unicode standard defines complete sub- and super-scripts for numbers and common mathematical symbols ( ⁰ ⁴ ⁵ ⁶ ⁷ ⁸ ⁹ ⁺ ⁻ ⁼ ⁽ ⁾ ₀ ₁ ₂ ₃ ₄ ₅ ₆ ₇ ₈ ₉ ₊ ₋ ₌ ₍ ₎ ), a full superscript Latin lowercase alphabet except q ( ᵃ ᵇ ᶜ ᵈ ᵉ ᶠ ᵍ ʰ ⁱ ʲ ᵏ ˡ ᵐ ⁿ ᵒ ᵖ ʳ ˢ ᵗ ᵘ ᵛ ʷ ˣ ʸ ᶻ ), a limited uppercase Latin alphabet ( ᴬ ᴮ ᴰ ᴱ ᴳ ᴴ ᴵ ᴶ ᴷ ᴸ ᴹ ᴺ ᴼ ᴾ ᴿ ᵀ ᵁ ⱽ ᵂ ), a few subscripted lowercase letters ( ₐ ₑ ₕ ᵢ ⱼ ₖ ₗ ₘ ₙ ₒ ₚ ᵣ ₛ ₜ ᵤ ᵥ ₓ ), and some Greek letters ( ᵅ ᵝ ᵞ ᵟ ᵋ ᶿ ᶥ ᶲ ᵠ ᵡ ᵦ ᵧ ᵨ ᵩ ᵪ ). Note that since these glyphs come from different ranges, they may not be of the same size and position, depending on the typeface."

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Janet Yang


I can answer questions in Algebra, Basic Math, Calculus, Differential Equations, Geometry, Number Theory, and Word Problems. I would not feel comfortable answering questions in Probability and Statistics or Topology because I have not studied these in depth.


I tutor students (fifth through twelfth grades) and am a Top Contributor on Yahoo!Answers with over 24,000 math solutions.

Co-author of An Outline of Scientific Writing: For Researchers With English as a Foreign Language

I have a Bachelor's degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley.

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George White Elementary School. Homework Help program at the Ridgewood Public Library, Ridgewood, NJ. Individual students.

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