How to Add Superscript or Subscript Text in Google Docs

How to Add Superscript or Subscript Text in Google Docs

Whether you want to write ordinal numbers or complex math formulas, knowing how to embed superscript or subscript text in Google Docs can help. Fortunately, your favorite word processor lets you do this on both PC and mobile.


How to add superscript or subscript text in Google Docs

While there’s no direct option for superscript or subscript text in the Google Docs toolbar, it’s not that difficult either. In this guide, we’ll cover superscript and subscript text, how to use them, and ways to add / remove them in Google Docs.

What are exponent and index

The exponent is any letters or numbers formatted to lie slightly above the normal line of text. This type of text indicates ordinal numbers, mathematical functions, or footnote or endnote numbers in a document.

The subscript corresponds to numbers or letters formatted to lie slightly below the normal line of text. Although the use of indices is quite rare, such text can be used to indicate chemical compounds, mathematical formulas, etc., in a document.

Examples of superscript and subscript text


Examples of superscript and subscript text

Now that we know what superscript and subscript are, let’s take a look at how to add, remove, and format them in Google Docs.

How to Format an Superscript or Subscript in Google Docs

You can format text superscript or subscript on PC and mobile with just a few clicks.

On pc

There are several ways to format text as superscript or subscript in Google Docs. The first is to use the Format menu, and the second, or easiest, is to use keyboard shortcuts.

1. Use the Format menu

To format text as superscript or subscript, open your Google Docs document and highlight the text or number you want to format.

Highlight text in Google Docs


Highlight text in Google Docs

Now click the Format menu at the top, navigate to Text and select the Superscript or Subscript option from the list.

Format text in Google Docs


Format text in Google Docs

And There you go ! You now have your text slightly above or below the regular text. Easy, right?

2. Use keyboard shortcuts

If your document requires you to format superscripts and subscripts often, you need to get used to keyboard shortcuts to do the same.

To quickly format highlighted text as superscript, use Ctrl +. (Ctrl and the period key). For the index, use the shortcut Ctrl +, (Ctrl and the comma key).

On mobile

Like the web version, the Google Docs mobile app also lets you format text as superscript or subscript. But since there are no keyboard shortcuts, you’ll have to rely on the Format menu to do the same. Here’s how.

Step 1: Open the document in the Google Docs app on your phone.

2nd step: Tap the Pencil icon at the bottom right to enter edit mode.

Step 3: Highlight the words or text you want to format superscript or subscript and click the formatting icon in the toolbar at the top.

Switch to edit mode in the Google Docs app


Switch to edit mode in the Google Docs app

Format text in the Google Docs app


Format text in the Google Docs app

Step 4: From the Format menu, choose the superscript and subscript icon to format the text.

Superscript or subscript text in the Google Docs app


Superscript or subscript text in the Google Docs app

How to insert an superscript or subscript in Google Docs

If you want to add symbols that are not available on your keyboard (copyright, registered symbol, etc.), you can use the Special Characters option in Google Docs to add them as superscript and subscript. Read on to find out how.

Step 1: Place the cursor where you want to add a superscript or subscript.

2nd step: Go to the Insert menu at the top and select Special Characters. Alternatively, you can also use the key combination Alt + I + C to quickly open the Special Characters menu.

Exponent and subscript with special characters


Exponent and subscript with special characters

Step 3: In the Special Character menu box, use the drop-down menu on the right to select the exponent or subscript from the list. Or, type exhibitor or index in the search box to quickly display the options to choose from.

Special characters in Google Docs


Special characters in Google Docs

Conveniently, you can also draw a symbol in the box to quickly bring up the closest matches.

Step 4: Find and tap the corresponding symbol to insert it into the document.

If the preferred symbol is not in the superscript or subscript list, you can add a special character as usual and format it later using the formatting menu.

How to remove superscript and subscript in Google Docs

While you can use backspace to remove superscript or subscript text in Google Docs, you can also convert superscript and subscript text to plain text by following the steps mentioned below.

Highlight superscript or subscript text and go to Format> Text> Superscript / Subscript. Likewise, you can also use the appropriate keyboard shortcuts to undo superscript and subscript formatting.

Also on Guiding Tech

Call the Super Sub

Adding exponents or subscripts can be important when writing mathematical formulas or chemical compounds. After all, you want to present your document in the best possible way. Certainly, Google Docs does not disappoint in this regard by offering you the option of displaying superscript / subscript, strikethrough, etc. on PC and mobile applications.

Last updated on July 8, 2021

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