Elizabeth J. Pyatt

210 Rider II,
Education Technology Services, a unit of I.T.S

My Life as a Penn State Instruction Designer

Got Unicode?
Statistical Symbols on the Web

Unlike other mathematical symbols, stat symbols like (X-Bar) and (p hat), are actually made with a letter followed by a "combining diacritic." So it's just like...phonetic notation!

Note on Safari: The use of combining diacritics means the symbols will not display properly in Safari (as of version 2.0). Safari just doesn't like them at the moment.

Set the Font


For the Web, you should make sure the page font is set to display Arial Unicode MS (Win) and Lucida Grande (Mac). The CSS formatting instructions are listed below.

.utf8sans {"Arial Unicode MS", "Lucida Grande" sans-serif}


If you want serif type, you can specify popular third-party serif fonts, but make sure the basic Unicode fonts are included. See CSS below.

.mathsym {"Chrysanthi Unicode ","Apple Symbols", "Lucida Grande", "Arial Unicode MS"}

HTML Codes

Some codes like that for (X-bar) are actually a combination of two codes - the base letter x plus a code for the line above (&#772: or ¯).

Note: If you are having problems seeing the letters in the chart, then your browser may not support diacritics. Safari does not currently display combining diacritics.

Statistical Symbol Codes
x̄ (X-Bar)
p̂ (P-hat)
Σ Σ or (Sigma Sum Sign)
Π Π or (Pi Product Sign)
μ μ or µ (mu mean sign)
σ σ (sigma standard deviation)
χ χ (chi)

Some More Complex Examples


If you place a combining line with a capital D, the line will generally merge into the D letter (it's not visible). One solution is to use CSS to shrink the letter D to about 80%, then place combining diacritic code. See the code below.

CSS & Combining Diacritic for D̄
D̄ <span style="font-size:80%">D</span>&#772; (d-Bar)

Subscripts and Superscript


  1. x2 (x-squared) = x<sup>2</sup>
  2. x2 (x sub 2) = x<sub>2</sub>
  3. χ2 (x-squared) = &chi;<sup>2</sup>

Nested Subscripts

s1 - x̄2 (S sub X1 bar - X2 bar)

<sub class="mathsym">x&#772;<sub>1</sub> - x&#772;<sub>2</sub></sub>


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