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How to Insert Subscript and Superscript in Excel – Excelchat

Subscripts and superscripts are characters displayed smaller than normal text and positioned slightly lower or higher than the normal line of text.

Example of subscript:   the “2” in hydrogen sulfide “H2S

Example of superscript: the “3” in cubic meter “m3

How to insert subscript in text values?  

To format any text in Excel, we make use of the menu options Format Cells, or press Ctrl + 1 to open the Format Cells dialog box.  In order to insert a subscript, we follow these steps:

Step 1.  Select the part of the text we want to format.  In this case, we want to insert “2” as a subscript.  

Figure 1.  Selecting the characters to format as subscript

Step 2.  Press Ctrl + 1 to open the Format Cells dialog box

Step 3.  Tick Subscript under Effects

Figure 2.  Subscript Effect in Format Cells

As a result, the number “2” is entered as a subscript.

Figure 3.  Output: How to insert a subscript

How to insert superscript in text values?  

The procedure is the same as in the above example, but this time we tick the Superscript box under Effects.  

Step 1.  Select the part of the text we want to format.  In this case, we want to insert “3” as a superscript.  

Figure 4. Selecting the characters to format as superscript

Step 2.  Press Ctrl + 1 to open the Format Cells dialog box

Step 3.  Tick Superscript under Effects

Figure 5.  Superscript Effect in Format Cells

As a result, the number “3” is entered as a superscript.  

Figure 6.  Output: How to insert superscript

Subscript and superscript shortcuts

Below are the keyboard shortcuts for subscripts and superscripts:

Excel subscript shortcut: Ctrl + 1, then Alt + E

Excel superscript shortcut:   Ctrl + 1, then Alt + B

Select the characters or cells we want to format, then use the keyboard shortcuts to insert subscripts or superscripts.  

How to insert subscript and superscript in numeric values?  

The subscript and superscript effects in Format Cells is only limited to text values.  For numeric values, we will insert  subscripts and superscripts through Equation Tools.

Step 1.  Click Insert tab, then Equation

Figure 7.  Insert equation in menu options

Step 2.  The Design tab will be displayed.  Click the Script button and select Superscript.  

Figure 8.  Insert superscript in Equation tools

Step 3.  Enter the values in the boxes.  

Example:  

We want to enter the square of 9 as “92”.  Enter 9 in the first box, and 2 in the second box.  

Figure 9.  Enter values for superscript

We have now inserted a numeric value with superscript through the Equations feature of Excel.  

Figure 10.  Output: Insert superscript to a numeric value

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