Apply Superscript or Subscript in Microsoft Word (3 Ways)

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated October 9, 2021

Applies to: Microsoft® Word® 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 and 365 (Windows)

You can apply superscript or subscript in Microsoft Word using keyboard shortcuts, buttons on the Ribbon or the Font dialog box. If you apply superscript, the selected letter, number or symbol will be raised slightly above the line of text and sized to a smaller size. If you apply subscript, the selection will be lowered slightly below the line of text and sized to a smaller size.

Certain features in Word, such as footnotes, automatically create superscripted characters.

It's common to use superscript or subscript for:

  • Symbols such as trademark or copyright symbols
  • Mathematical equations
  • Chemical formulas
  • Footnote characters or numbers

In the sample below, superscript has been applied to the registered trademark symbol:

XYZ Manufacturing Ltd. ®

Recommended article: 3 Strikethrough Shortcuts in Microsoft Word

Do you want to learn more about Microsoft Word? Check out our virtual classroom or live classroom Word courses >

1. Applying or removing superscript or subscript using a keyboard shortcut

To apply superscript or subscript using a keyboard shortcut:

  1. Select the text character, number or symbol to which you want to apply superscript or subscript.
  2. To apply superscript, press Ctrl + Shift + equal sign (=). To apply subscript, press Ctrl + equal sign (=).

Note: We're using the equal sign at the top of the keyboard.

To remove or turn off superscript or subscript using a keyboard shortcut:

  1. Select the text, number or symbol with superscript or subscript you want to remove.
  2. To remove superscript, press Ctrl + Shift + equal sign (=). To remove subscript, press Ctrl + equal sign (=).

2. Applying or removing superscript or subscript using buttons in the Ribbon

In Word (not PowerPoint), there are buttons in the Ribbon for superscript and subscript.

To apply superscript or subscript using buttons in the Ribbon:

  1. Select the text character, number or symbol to which you want to apply superscript or subscript.
  2. Click the Home tab in the Ribbon.
  3. Click Superscript or Subscript in the Font group (X buttons).

Below are the buttons in the Font group in Word (note the X buttons):

Superscript and subscript buttons in the Font group on the Home tab in Word.

To remove superscript or subscript using buttons in the Ribbon:

  1. Select the text, number or symbol with superscript or subscript you want to remove.
  2. Click the Home tab in the Ribbon.
  3. Click Superscript or Subscript in the Font group.

3. Applying or removing superscript or subscript using the Font dialog box

Since superscript and subscript are character formats that can be applied to text or a symbol, the most common way to apply them is to use the Font dialog box. You can select or deselect check boxes to apply or remove superscript or subscript.

To apply superscript or subscript:

  1. Select the text character, number or symbol to which you want to apply superscript or subscript.
  2. Click the Home tab in the Ribbon.
  3. Click the dialog box launcher on the bottom right of the Font group (corner button). Alternatively, press Ctrl + D. A dialog box appears.
  4. Select the Superscript or Subscript check box or press Alt + the underlined character.
  5. Click OK or press Enter.

Below is the Font dialog box in Microsoft Word:

Superscript and subscript commands in the Font dialog box in Word.

To remove or turn off superscript or subscript:

  1. Select the text, number or symbol with superscript or subscript you want to remove.
  2. Click the Home tab in the Ribbon.
  3. Click the dialog box launcher on the bottom right of the Font group (corner button). Alternatively, press Ctrl + D. A dialog box appears.
  4. Select the Superscript or Subscript check box to deselect it.
  5. Click OK or press Enter.

The benefit of using the keyboard shortcut method is the keyboard shortcuts are the same in other programs.

This article was first published on September 9, 2020 and has been updated for clarity and content.

Subscribe to get more articles like this one

Did you find this article helpful? If you would like to receive new articles, join our email list.

More resources

How to Create a Table of Contents in Word

How to Add Page Numbers in Word (Step by Step)

How to View Word Count in Microsoft Word (4 Ways)

How to Find and Replace in Word (and Use Wildcards)

How to Insert or Type the Degree Symbol in Word (5 Ways to Insert °)

Related courses

Microsoft Word: Intermediate / Advanced

Microsoft Excel: Intermediate / Advanced

Microsoft PowerPoint: Intermediate / Advanced

Microsoft Word: Long Documents Master Class

Microsoft Word: Styles, Templates and Tables of Contents

Microsoft Word: Designing Dynamic Word Documents Using Fields

VIEW MORE COURSES >

Our instructor-led courses are delivered in virtual classroom format or at our downtown Toronto location at 18 King Street East, Suite 1400, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (some in-person classroom courses may also be delivered at an alternate downtown Toronto location). Contact us at info@avantixlearning.ca if you'd like to arrange custom instructor-led virtual classroom or onsite training on a date that's convenient for you.

Copyright 2022 Avantix® Learning

You may also like

How to Modify Table of Contents Formatting in Word

How to Modify Table of Contents Formatting in Word

If you have created a custom or automatic table of contents (TOC) in a Word document, you can add heading levels to the TOC. You can add or edit levels using built-in heading styles or use custom styles as levels.

How to Insert or Type the Beta Symbol in Word (β or Β)

How to Insert or Type the Beta Symbol in Word (β or Β)

You can insert or type the Beta symbol in Word documents in several ways. The Greek Beta symbol can be entered in upper case (Β) or lower case (β) using built-in commands or keyboard shortcuts (including Alt codes, AutoCorrect entries or custom shortcuts). Beta is the 2nd letter in the Greek alphabet and is comparable to the letter B.

Microsoft, the Microsoft logo, Microsoft Office and related Microsoft applications and logos are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in Canada, US and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of the registered owners.

Avantix Learning |18 King Street East, Suite 1400, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5C 1C4 | Contact us at info@avantixlearning.ca

Summary
How to Superscript or Subscript in Word (with Shortcuts)
Article Name
How to Superscript or Subscript in Word (with Shortcuts)
Description
You can apply superscript or subscript in Microsoft Word using keyboard shortcuts, buttons on the Ribbon or the Font dialog box. If you apply superscript, the selected letter, number or symbol will be raised slightly above the line of text and sized to a smaller size. If you apply subscript, the selection will be lowered slightly below the line of text and sized to a smaller size.
Author
Publisher Name
Avantix Learning

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This