I suggest collecting a short list of hints on this topic.

How to mark a stress?

(I propose to eventually create a community wiki post out of it.)

  • I wouldn't create a community wiki for that, since it is NOT about the language or its usage, but just how to handle emphases.
    – Em1
    Jun 17, 2012 at 12:47
  • 1
    @Em1 OK, may be I don't understand the idea of the wiki posts. I thought, since it's a meta wiki, it exactly should not be about the language, but just for a community.
    – texnic
    Jun 17, 2012 at 12:58
  • All questions on main page should be related to the language and its usage, and question on meta are about the site, as bugs, support, usage requests, ideas, whatever. Wiki questions are necessary if a question is likely to have a debate, or if it is expected to have a lot of answers, such as books request. A community wiki question/answer does not generate any reputation, thus up- and down-votes only indicate the usefulness of a post, but the author's rep does not increase.
    – Em1
    Jun 17, 2012 at 13:17

2 Answers 2


Marking stress with acute accents

I strongly suggest using acute accents, which is the only proper way of marking stress. It has been always used in printed books, including dictionaries.

Other methods, including include bold and italic, along with cApital lEtters, appeared as “methods of last resort” on the Internet, when the support for Unicode was bad.

To enter acute accent (along with numerous other useful characters), I suggest using this keyboard layout: http://ilyabirman.ru/projects/typography-layout/ (Windows and Mac versions available). I use it myself.

Caveat: I've stumbled upon a Stack Exchange bug concerning the acute accent characters.

  • Basically, this was exactly the topic of my question: if there is any method we should suggest. So, to be fair, I've combined everything I knew and learnt while writing this topic. Personally I don't mind using simpler methods. But may be now that I know how to type it, I'll stick to it as much as I can. I've been typing proper quotation marks, em- and en-dashes, non-breaking spaces etc. for years now (using codes). I don't think we can seriously recommend installing a new keyboard layout to everyone. Though I may try it myself and will add it to the answer, thanks for the suggestion.
    – texnic
    Jun 18, 2012 at 6:58
  • @texnic: This keyboard layout was very convenient and pleasant to use, in my experience. I never expected everyone to install and use it, though. Just a chance to inform whoever might be interested. For a more general usage, I'd suggest a button for combining acute atop the post editor, à la Wikipeda. This is up to the devs, although.
    – Helgi
    Jun 18, 2012 at 8:13
  • OK, then we understand each other. I wanted to show people all the available options, and we have also this discussion on which method could be better. In the end everyone can decide on his/her own. A button would be nice indeed, why don't we submit a feature request? It's not much different from having all those tags.
    – texnic
    Jun 18, 2012 at 9:02

How to mark stress

There are three ways:

  1. Use <b> </b> tags around the stressed vowel, for example: ягода (<b>я</b>года)

  2. Use <i> </i> tags around the stressed vowel, for example: пшеница (пшен<i>и</i>ца)

  3. Use the combined acute accent + letter symbol, that is: а́, е́, и́, о́, у́, ы́, э́, ю́, я́, А́, Е́, О́, У́, Ы́, Э́, Ю́, Я́ (simply copy the symbols from here).

How to add accent

  • In Windows:
    • First method: copy from the list of accented letters above.
    • Second method: Using WordPad, type letter, then 301, then Alt+x.
    • Third method (potentially dangerous, involves registry editing): Using Registry Editor (Win+R, regedit.exe), add a string value EnableHexNumpad to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Input Method and set its value to 1. Then you'll be able to add accents in most programs like this: type letter, press Alt, type +301 on numeric keyboard with NumLock on, release Alt.
  • In Mac OS: Press Option-e and then letter.
  • There are also special keyboard layouts designed for entering usually inaccessible symbols, for example this one http://ilyabirman.ru/projects/typography-layout/ for Windows and Mac (thanks to Helgi for pointing it out).
  • In Linux: ???
  • 4
    The italic tag is not a good choice. It's hard to see that there is a letter in italic style. It does only make sense if there's a complete word or sentence in italic.
    – Em1
    Jun 17, 2012 at 12:49
  • @Em1 Italic has a well-known feature of being noticed when needed, not before like bold. Would you say that it's not visible in the word пшеница above? However, I don't mind removing this method if other people here agree with you.
    – texnic
    Jun 17, 2012 at 12:55
  • Could someone add the description of the Linux method please? I don't have a working Linux at the moment. Mac OS method was not checked yet, will do it in the evening when will be home.
    – texnic
    Jun 17, 2012 at 12:56
  • I can figure out which letter is italic when I look out for it, but when just reading a long text I will likely miss that. I, personally, reserved italic for the word what the question is about, sometimes I additionally put it into double quotes. E.g. What does the word "<i>пшеница</i>" mean?
    – Em1
    Jun 17, 2012 at 13:21
  • @Em1 May be you are different :) I don't think it was my invention to use italic font in this case, it's quite wide spread and seems to work fine. However, may be you spotted an interesting aspect: For a foreigner, Russian letters look very different as such, and therefore a small difference added by italicizing a single letter is not noticeable. So your comment is very welcome, let's see what other people will say.
    – texnic
    Jun 17, 2012 at 13:42
  • Actually, I don't think that it has to do with foreign characters or not. Even in my native language I wouldn't recognize that. Or maybe it's just the resolution of my screen that makes it so hard to recognize
    – Em1
    Jun 17, 2012 at 15:24
  • @texnic The Mac method changes according to the keyboard layout, I think.
    – Alenanno
    Jun 17, 2012 at 18:47
  • @Alenanno The method I mentioned doesn't work on my own Mac :) I don't even have an option key, just Ctrl, Alt and Cmd. Could someone help?
    – texnic
    Jun 18, 2012 at 7:03
  • @texnic There is not an "option" button, meaning that you don't have a button with "option" written on it. It works like this: CTRL = Control, ALT = Option, "Apple button" (the one with a weird drawing) = Command. :P
    – Alenanno
    Jun 18, 2012 at 8:14
  • @Alenanno I love Macs :)
    – texnic
    Jun 18, 2012 at 9:00

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .