Superscripting a registration mark

When you insert a registration mark (®) into your HTML, it comes in pretty much right in the vertical middle of the line. It looks weird there, as many a client has pointed out to me. They’d like to see it superscripted and I agree that’s where it looks most appropriate.

So you might try superscripting it (®) but this presents another problem. It also inserts a little bit of extra space above the line that contains it, throwing off the line spacing if it’s tight.

How to have a nicely superscripted registration mark that doesn’t destroy the even spacing of text? Try this – works in FF, Netscape and Opera…

In your CSS file:

And in your (X)HTML:


Now in IE6 and 7, what I see when I implement this is that the mark looks fine until I touch the scrollbar – then it (and all the other marks with the same class) stays put on the page (like it’s fixed) while the rest of the content moves. It looks like IE6 and 7 don’t like ‘position: relative;’ in a span tag? I’m not sure. Looking for answers about this issue now.


  1. Wow, 2007. The placement is irrelevant despite what any client says. In written/type, it must simply trail the word or phrase in question without special formatting. Super/Sub/specific placement of a mark is only relevant in a graphical treatment. Often these become confused and a client will ask for “placement” of the mark with flowing/ typed text, which “can” be hacked into place, but is not legally required and therefore not enforceable except by the ignorant know-it-alls who think it is and write your checks.

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