[texhax] modifying \overline

Phil Parker phil at math.wichita.edu
Mon Aug 17 17:47:43 CEST 2009

\overline does not behave wull with math italics. For example, look at
$\overline{H}$ or $\overline{\partial}$ -- the overline sticks out too far to
the left. If I understand correctly, it is not respecting the \skewchar of the
math italic font.

What I would like to do is create a "modified \overline" command that would
place an overline of the appropriate length "italic centered" on math italic
fonts. It looks as if all that needs changing is the left starting point of
the overline (hence its length, too) as the right ending point appears to be
in the correct place. If I understand the TeX book correctly, that's what
\skewchar is for; I just don't understand how to use it here.

Perhaps this has already been done, but I've been unable to find it or
construct my own. I've looked in the TeX book, Voss's mathmode, and the UK
FAQ. Probably there's something about \overline I don't understand so that I
can't figure out how to make a new version that "italic centers" the overline.

Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

    Phil Parker
URL http://www.math.wichita.edu/~pparker/
Random quote:
  The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that
  heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but
  "That's funny ...."---Isaac Asimov

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