by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 31, 2015)
It is not uncommon to underline characters in your documents. This is typically done for some sort of emphasis. Overlining characters, however, is a bit trickier. Normally you use overlining for documents about electronics, where an overline indicates that the signal line is "active low."
There are many ways you can overline your characters, including searching for special fonts that include the overlines (such as the public-domain SPAtlantis font) or using the Equation Editor (the Underbar and Overbar templates are quite helpful). These solutions, however, can lead to additional problems. For instance, using a special font means that the actual characters used won't match the characters used in the rest of your document, and if you send the document to someone else, you need to make sure you embed the font or provide the font to the other person separately.
The best solution we have found is to use special field commands supplied with Word. For instance, if you wanted to use an overline on the W character, you could do the following:
To change the character displayed, simply change the W in the field to a different character. A similar approach is to use the overline character and use a field to position it "on top of" another character. You can do this by following these steps:
Depending on the fonts you are using, either of the foregoing may result in overlines that are a bit too long for your liking. If you want an overline that is more closely related to the size of the character you are using, try these steps (again using a field):
Regardless of which method you use, you can select the field and assign it to an AutoText entry so that it appears automatically when you type the entry.
You can also use a macro, if you prefer, to add the proper field codes. The following example macro prompts you for the character you want overlined, and then creates the field to overline it. The field used in the macro is the one you created manually in the last set of steps.
Sub Overline() Dim sChar As String sChar = InputBox("Enter character to overline", "Overline") Selection.Fields.Add Range:=Selection.Range, Type:=wdFieldEmpty, _ PreserveFormatting:=False Selection.MoveLeft Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1 Selection.Delete Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=2 Selection.TypeText Text:="EQ \o(" + sChar + ",)" Selection.MoveLeft Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1 Selection.Fields.Add Range:=Selection.Range, Type:=wdFieldEmpty, _ PreserveFormatting:=False Selection.MoveLeft Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1 Selection.Delete Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=2 Selection.TypeText Text:="EQ \s\up10(_)" Selection.Fields.ToggleShowCodes Selection.MoveLeft Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=2 Selection.Fields.ToggleShowCodes End Sub
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