How to Create Subscript in Google Docs and Google Sheets - Wordable (2022)

Google Docs is very useful for writing different kinds of data, from mathematical and chemical formulas to citations. To use it effectively, though, you need to use subscripts and superscripts.

But it can be difficult to perform the subscript command.

Don’t worry. Many other people struggle to create subscript in Google Docs and Google Sheets. They just can’t seem to find this option. What’s more, they aren’t aware of the dedicated shortcuts in Docs.

Fortunately, once you learn the command, subscripting in Google Docs is actually fairly simple. The methods for subscripting in Google Sheets is a bit more complex but might be worth the effort.

In this article, you’ll get a complete walkthrough on the subject so that you don’t experience similar problems in the future. If you want to find out once and for all how to subscript in Google Docs and Google Sheets, keep reading.

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Table of Contents

What is Subscript in Google Docs?
Why Use Subscript in Google Docs?
How to Subscript in Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Walkthrough
How to add Subscripts in Google Sheets: A Step-by-Step Guide
FAQs

What is Subscript in Google Docs?

Google Docs is useful not only for writing words but also various kinds of numbers. When your letters or numbers need to be above the level of the text, you’ll use superscript. It’ll look something like this: 25. On the other hand, if these need to be smaller and below the text, you’ll use subscript, which looks like this H2O. The subscript and superscript appear on the right side of the text and are a bit smaller than the rest of the words.

You can use subscript or superscript for the same purposes in Google Sheets.

Knowing how to subscript gives your document more meaning and looks much more professional.

Why Use Subscript in Google Docs?

As mentioned above, if you need to insert a citation, any kind of formula, or even a service mark, you’ll have to use subscript in Google Docs. When working with mathematical equations, you might have to use it to raise a number to a power. This is an example of an equation represented by subscript: Fn = Fn-1 + Fn−2. You might also need to write a list of values, such as these: x1, x2, x3, etc.

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Moreover, it’s useful when you’re writing a temperature in degrees (20°C), chemical compounds (NaHCO3), and even trademarks (™).

How to Subscript in Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Walkthrough

If you want to make your text more professional and meaningful, there’s a simple thing you can do: learn how to subscript in Google Docs. In this section, we’ll explain how to use superscripts and subscripts successfully in your documents.

There are three ways to do it:

Method #1: Using the Special Character Tool

The first method is relatively simple. This is what you’ll have to do:

  1. Open the doc in Google Docs and look for the menu bar.
  2. Make sure the cursor is placed in text where you want superscript or subscript to show.
  3. Navigate to ‘Insert’ and find ‘Special characters’ option. Tap on it.
  4. The ‘Special characters’ box will now appear.
  5. In the search box, type ‘Superscript’ or ‘Subscript’.
  6. You’ll be able to choose the option you need.
  7. Click on it.

Your choice will automatically appear in the text where your cursor is placed.

Alternatively, you can draw the symbol in the square, which will then open all the possibilities that are similar to your drawing.

Note: If you use the ‘Special character’ option, keep in mind you can’t insert a trademark sign.

Method #2: Using the Format Option

You can also make your whole text appear as superscript or subscript:

  1. Open the document.
  2. Once you finish writing, select all the text which you want to show as superscript or subscript.
  3. Now, from the menu bar, select ‘Format’.
  4. Next, tap on ‘Text’ and select either of the options you want.
  5. Your text will appear either smaller or larger than the rest.

That’s it. Your words or numbers will automatically show as superscript or subscript in a document. You can continue writing, and they’ll still stay the same until you turn off the function by clicking on it again.

Method #3: Using the Shortcuts

Finally, the third way to make words and numbers show in superscript or subscript is to use the dedicated shortcuts. They’re very useful and straightforward, so make sure you remember them for future reference. The main command you’ll need is Ctrl.

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If you want to subscript the text or numbers, do the following:

  1. Highlight the text first.
  2. Press Ctrl + comma.
  3. On the other hand, to superscript the text or numbers:
  4. Highlight the text first.
  5. Press Ctrl + period.

This is the fastest way to subscript in Google Docs and superscript.

How to add Subscripts in Google Sheets: A Step-by-Step Guide

Google Sheets is similar to Microsoft Excel. It is not a word processor like Docs so none of the above methods to add subscript text will work. You can use these 2 methods instead:

Method #1: Using the CHAR function

This is a built-in function in Google Sheets, where a numerical value (called ASCII code) is assigned to each character.

For example, the numerical value of C is 67. So if you type “=CHAR(67)” in a cell and press Enter, you’ll get C.

You can use the same formula for subscript and superscript characters. You can currently format numbers 0-9, basic mathematical symbols (=, +, – ), and alphabets using this function.

You can find the formulas for these characters via spreadsheetpoint here.

If you want to subscript text or numbers, do the following:

  1. Click on a cell in your Google Sheet.
  2. Enter the formula “=CHAR(numerical value)”
  3. Press Enter.

You should now have a subscript or superscript character in the cell.

How to Create Subscript in Google Docs and Google Sheets - Wordable (1)

Alternatively, you can copy the formula from the linked spreadsheet and paste it into a cell on your sheet.

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Method #2: Using Unicode symbols

Unicode symbols or characters can be found with a simple Google search. In fact, Wikipedia has an extensive list of them here. There are numerous other sites that have these characters as well.

How to Create Subscript in Google Docs and Google Sheets - Wordable (2)

(Image Source)

To add a unicode subscript symbol to your Google Sheet:

  1. Go to Wikipedia or a third-party site for subscript and superscript characters.
  2. Copy the character you want to use.
  3. Paste it into the desired cell.
  4. To use multiple symbols, you must copy and paste each symbol next to each other. For example, to get a subscript “16”, you have to first copy and paste the “1” and then “6” next to it.

Subscript in Google Docs FAQs

How do you subscript in Google Docs?

There are three methods to subscript in Google Docs. The easiest and the fastest is to use the dedicated commands. All you have to do is select the text and hold down the command and comma (or ctrl + , on PC). Alternatively, you could also do it from the menu bar.

Can you subscript in Google Sheets?

Unfortunately, the options that work for Google Docs don’t work for Google Sheets. So if you want to subscript in Google Sheets, you’ll have to use a Char () formula or by copying and pasting Unicode subscript characters from third-party sites.

Can you superscript in Google Docs?

Yes, you can. The methods are almost the same like subscripting, especially if you choose to do it via the menu bar. To use a formula, you’ll have to press ctrl (cmd) + period. It’s the same one for Mac and Windows users.

Why do I need to subscript in Google Docs?

If you’re writing mathematical equations or chemical compounds, they’re probably going to have numbers which have to be below the text and appear smaller. To write them in Google Docs, you need to use a subscript option.

What is the difference between superscript and subscript in Google Docs?

Superscripts are numbers or words which appear above the level of a text. They are on the right side of the text and usually smaller. On the other hand, subscripts are characters below the text.

Conclusion

As you can see, learning how to subscript in Google Docs isn’t that complicated. While it’s slightly more complicated for Google Sheets, we hope this article has given you a better understanding of that matter.

Using subscripts and superscripts will help you write formulas, values, footnotes, etc. Make sure you keep in mind the three methods for subscripting in Google Docs that’ll make your life a lot easier in the future. If you’re looking for the fastest option, then the dedicated shortcut will do. Alternatively, you could insert a subscript from the menu bar, which is also pretty simple.

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FAQs

How do you write subscripts in Google Sheets? ›

To use this formula, follow these steps:
  1. Step 1: Enter your original string into Google Sheets. ...
  2. Step 2: Find the ASCII code for the corresponding subscript or superscript that you want to add. ...
  3. Step 3: Type =CHAR(ascii code) into the formula bar to generate a superscript or subscript.

How do you superscript and subscript at the same time in Google Docs? ›

The quickest way to apply a superscript or a subscript in Google Docs on the web is with a keyboard shortcut. On a standard keyboard press Ctrl+. (Control and period) for superscript and Ctrl+, (Control and comma), for subscript. Alternatively, press ⌘+.

How do you make a subscript in a Google Doc formula? ›

You can type "\" followed by the name of a symbol and a space in an equation to insert that symbol. For example, \alpha will insert 𝞪. To type superscripts or subscripts, type "\", then press Shift + 6 or Shift + -.

How do I type subscript? ›

Use keyboard shortcuts to apply superscript or subscript

For superscript, press Ctrl, Shift, and the Plus sign (+) at the same time. For subscript, press Ctrl and the Equal sign (=) at the same time. (Do not press Shift.)

Can you add superscript in Google Sheets? ›

Unfortunately Google Sheets doesn't support formatting characters as superscript, but we can get around this by using the Unicode superscript characters. These characters are similar to emoji.

Can you do superscript in Google Docs? ›

To apply superscript using the Format menu: In the Google Docs document, select the text character, number or symbol to which you want to apply superscript. Click Format in the menu. Select Text and then Superscript.

What is the Alt code for subscript? ›

ALT and HTML Codes for Subscripts
CharALT CodeDescription
ALT + 8320subscript 0
ALT + 8321subscript 1
ALT + 8322subscript 2
ALT + 8323subscript 3
6 more rows

How do you type a subscript and superscript at the same time in Word? ›

You can achieve this by navigating to the insert tab, then equation and lastly script where you will find a formatted box with the superscript and subscript vertically aligned.

How do you subscript and superscript at the same time in Excel? ›

Select one or more characters you want to format. Press Ctrl + 1 to open the Format Cells dialog box. Then press either Alt + E to select the Superscript option or Alt + B to select Subscript. Hit the Enter key to apply the formatting and close the dialog.

How do you superscript and subscript at the same time in Excel? ›

Format text values as superscript or subscript

Select characters in a cell or cell range that you'd like to format. On the Home tab, in the Font group, click the Font Settings dialog box launcher. Press CTRL+1. Under Effects, check the Superscript or Subscript box, and click OK.

How do you write 2 in subscript? ›

How to Write Subscript and Superscript in Word - YouTube

How do you type 2 in subscript? ›

Select the character that you want to format. For superscript, press Control, Shift, and the Plus sign (+) at the same time. For subscript, press Control and the Equal sign (=) at the same time. (Do not press Shift.)

What is the symbol for subscript? ›

Use "_" (underscore) for subscripts. If the subscript has more than one character, enclose it in braces: "lim_{x --> 0} sin (x) / x". (This is what mathematicians are used to.) Use "/" for division, but remember the parentheses!

Why is my superscript not working in Google Docs? ›

Clear the Browser Cache

Click on Chrome's menu icon, and select History. Select History again. Click on Clear browsing data. Restart your browser and test the superscript feature again.

How do I turn text into a superscript? ›

HOW TO DO SUBSCRIPT IN WORD | Superscript text and Subscript

Where is superscript in Google Sheets? ›

How to Enter Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets

How do you type subscript 6? ›

Click the subscript icon in the Home toolbar.

On Mac, you can press ⌘ Command + + on your keyboard to convert into subscript in Word. On Windows, you can press Control + + to convert into subscript in Word. This shortcut will also work in other text editors like Notepad.

How do you type subscripts 4? ›

Three Ways to Insert Superscripts and Subscripts in Microsoft Word

How do I type Small 2 for h2o? ›

How to write h2o in Word (MICROSOFT) - YouTube

Where do you put a comma between superscripts? ›

Superscript numbers are placed after quotation marks, commas and periods. They are placed before semicolons and colons. + If citing several studies, separate the superscripts by commas. + If citing sequential studies, use a dash to indicate the sequence.

Which tag is used for subscript and superscript? ›

The <sub> tag defines the subscript text. Subscript text appears half a character below the normal line and is sometimes rendered in a smaller font. Subscript text can be used for chemical formulas, like H2O to be written as H2O. Superscript: The <sup> tag is used to add a superscript text to the HTML document.

Can you do superscripts in Excel? ›

How to Superscript in Excel - YouTube

How do I insert superscript subscript and header and footer? ›

From the Home Tab → Font group, choose the subscript or superscript option. The header is a section of the document that appears in the top margin, while the footer is a section of the document that appears in the bottom margin.

What is the shortcut combination for superscript? ›

For superscript, simply press Ctrl + Shift + + (press and hold Ctrl and Shift, then press +). For subscript, press CTRL + = (press and hold Ctrl, then press =). Pressing the respective shortcut again will get you back to normal text.

Why is my superscript not working in Excel? ›

Click "Format" followed by "Home," "Format Cells," "Font," "Superscript" and "OK." Depending on the overall format of the cell, the superscript may not display. For example, if you enter the date as "7/01/50" and try to make just the "01" superscript, Excel will automatically convert the text back into normal font.

› watch ›

How To Type Both Subscript and Superscript at The Same Time In MS WordThis Microsoft Word tutorial of MS Word shows how to insert both subscript and superscr...
Subscripts and Superscripts are special text formatting that can be used to highlight specific information in a table, within mathematical equations, or within ...
How To Type Subscript And Superscript At The Same Time In Word document is shown in this video.

Can you add superscript in Google Sheets? ›

Unfortunately Google Sheets doesn't support formatting characters as superscript, but we can get around this by using the Unicode superscript characters. These characters are similar to emoji.

Where is superscript in Google Sheets? ›

How to Enter Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets

How do you write 2 in subscript? ›

How to Write Subscript and Superscript in Word - YouTube

Why is my superscript not working in Google Docs? ›

Clear the Browser Cache

Click on Chrome's menu icon, and select History. Select History again. Click on Clear browsing data. Restart your browser and test the superscript feature again.

Can I do an exponent on Google Docs? ›

Open a Google doc where you want to add the exponent. Click on Format in the taskbar at the top of the document. Choose Text from the drop-down menu. Select Superscript from the Text menu and just start typing as your doc is now in Superscript mode.

How do you make a second superscript in Google Docs? ›

How To Write 2nd In Google Docs - YouTube

How do you type a tiny 2? ›

To make this symbol in a word processor : - The keys combination is Alt + 2 5 3 : Keep the key Alt down (the key to the left of the space bar), then type in the numbers 2, 5 and 3 and finally release Alt key.

How do you make a little 2 on the keyboard? ›

Hold down Alt and key in 0178 and let go of Alt. A superscript 2 will appear. Incidentally, if you needed 'cubed' instead of 'squared' then type 0179 and you'll get a superscript 3. In fact, this will work anywhere in Windows or online – even in Word.

How do you type 2 squared on Google Docs? ›

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