Word: how to do subscript and superscript

Subscript and Superscript are commonly used to insert characters that fall below or above the normal text line. These two are commonly used in writing formulae, basic mathematical expressions, big numbers, footnotes, isotopes and many others.

Many people have problems with creating subscripts and superscripts especially in shortcuts. In this article, we will discuss shortcuts for both Mac and Windows OS users. We understand that typing multiple superscripts and subscripts is time consuming, that is why we have compiled a number of shortcuts to save you the hassle and tussle of trying out different shortcuts. The shortcut keys we have included are for toggling between superscript and Subscript.


Typing Subscript and Superscript in Mac OS

Subscript and Superscript word formatting are commonly used in writing formulae and expression. There are two main ways in which you can lower or raise characters for Mac users.

  • Using the superscript and subscript option
  • Adjusting the baseline shift


Making a Character Sub-or Superscript

First, select the character(s) you want to raise or lower.

Second, go to the Format sidebar and click the Style button.

Third, click on this icon in the Font section, then click the Baseline pop-up menu and you will be presented with two options, Superscript and Subscript. If you would like to continue writing normal characters after your subscript or superscript, follow the same procedure and in stead of choosing Subscript or Superscript, click on Default option.

Alternatively, you can type the superscript and subscript using two specific keyboard shortcuts:

  • Superscript formatting: Command Control+=
  • Subscript formatting: Command + Control+-


Making Numerical Suffixes Superscript in Word

It is also possible to set pages to have numerical suffixes like st, nd, rd as you type.

Click on Pages and the Preference.

Choose Auto-Correction (its at the top of the Preference Menu).

Select Superscript Numerical Suffixes by Checking the box


Typing Subscript and Superscript in Windows

The modern-day Ms Word versions have the superscript and subscript formatting options on the ribbon. Therefore, if you are creating a document with chemical formulas you need to understand a couple of buttons on the home tab.

Adjacent to B I U there are two letter X, one is superscripted while the other is subscripted.

In order to use the home tab option, you need to select the specific word or number you want. Press ctrl, shift and (+) sign all at a time.

In case you want to customize subscript of 1, with the highlighted 1, click first on the dialogue box launcher for the Font group.

Next, click on the Advanced tab, a drop list will appear, choose Raise (leave the rest in the default mode) and click OK.

You will notice the 1 will be slightly higher than the adjacent zero.

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