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Subject: Support for overlined text in ODF


I am working on an enhancement to OpenOffice.org (OOo) that adds support for
overlined text. As part of this work, I need a way to save the overlined
attribute in an ODF file. At present ODF does not support overlining as
a text style (although it does support overlining as a font attribute).
I would therefore like to propose that this capability be added to ODF.
I suggest this would be best done by adding the following attributes:


with syntax and semantics copied from the similarly named underline

As rationale for why ODF should support overlined text, the following
uses have been identified by OOo users who have voted for this

1) In Boolean algebra, an overline is used to denote negation (i.e.
logical inversion).

2) In digital electronics, an overline is used to denote an active
low signal.

3) In high energy physics, an overline is used to denote an antiparticle.

4) In older West European texts, an overline is used to denote an

5) Overlines are used in sign language transcriptions.

Overlines also appear to be used in CJK languages, although I don't
know enough about this to comment on whether OOo's current approach of
subverting the underline tag for this purpose is appropriate.

In most of the above cases, the overline attribute is applied to a
word, so using a combining overline character is awkward and causes
problems for search and replace (besides which, most fonts don't
include a combining overline character).

I know of two other word processor applications that support overlined
text: Adobe FrameMaker and AbiWord. AbiWord also supports ODF import
and export, so adding these attributes would not just benefit OOo.

Finally, a few supporting quotes from other OOo users (taken from

"Unfortunately, one absolutely critical
there-is-no-other-convention-for-doing-this ability we have to have
in even the most basic sign language transcriptions is overline text."

"It's an issue with mathematical texts as well. It is no way a feature
for luxury publishing products, but it is a basic

"This isn't a "magic" feature, it's a standard text-font convention for
a number of common documentation types: logic, finite mathematics,
electronic specifications, etc.

An example: JEDEC's Software Tools Committee would adopt OO.o as our
standard document format for editable specifications in a heartbeat if
we could just flag active-low signals properly."

Martin Whitaker

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