There are a variety of ways different ways to create superscripts and subscripts in Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

- 1Your Ribbon Guide commands (Microsoft Word only)
- 2Your keyboard shortcuts
- 3Your Font dialog box (w/ bonus shortcuts discussed below)

All of which are covered in detail for each program below, so you can choose which one you like best.

But first off, just so that we are crystal clear on terminology:

**A superscript **is text formatting set above the normal baseline (as pictured above on the left) and is most frequently used in mathematical equations and chemical formulas.

^{2}

^{2+}

**A subscript** is text formatting set below the normal text baseline (as pictured above on the right) and is also often used in mathematical equations and chemical formulas.

_{n}

_{2}O

## Subscript shortcut

The Subscript shortcut is **Ctrl **+** =** on a PC and **Ctrl **+** Cmd **+** +** on a Mac.

This shortcut works in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint to quickly create (or remove) a subscripts without using the insert equation feature (another way to create subscripts and complex mathematical equations).

For example, to subscript 2 in a mathematical equation like this (X_{2}), you'll need to:

- 1Select the 2
- 2Hit
**Ctrl**+**=**

To remove a subscript, simply select the subscript (2 in this case) and hit the **Ctrl **+ **=** shortcut again to remove it

To subscript in Excel with shortcuts, you need to use a combination of keyboard shortcuts on a PC.

- 1Select your text
- 2Hit
**Ctrl**+**1**for the Format Cells dialog box - 3Hit
**Alt**+**B**for Subscript - 4Hit
**Enter**

## Superscript shortcut

The superscript shortcut is **Ctrl** + **Shift **+ **= **on a PC and **Ctrl **+ **Cmd **+ **-** on a Mac.

This shortcut works in Word and PowerPoint to quickly create (or remove) superscripts on the fly without using the insert equation commands (another way to create superscripts in your documents).

For example, to superscript 2 in a mathematical equation like this (X^{2}), you'll need to:

- 1Select the 2
- 2Hit
**Ctrl**+**Shift**+**=**

To remove the superscript after you have applied it, simply select it (in this case the 2) and hit the **Ctrl **+ **Shift **+ **=** shortcut a second time to remove it.

To superscript in Excel with shortcuts, you need to use a combination of keyboard shortcuts:

- 1Select the text you want to superscript in Excel
- 2Hit
**Ctrl**+**1**to open the Format Cells dialog box - 3Hit
**Alt**+**E**to Superscript - 4Hit
**Enter**

## How to superscript and subscript in Word

Besides the two keyboard shortcuts mentioned above, there are 2 additional ways to quickly create superscripts and subscripts in Word.

**#1: Use the superscript and subscript commands in your Ribbon:**

- 1Select your text
- 2Click the superscript or subscript command in your Ribbon

While this is a super fast way to create these text effects, if you navigate through the Font Dialog box, you get a bunch of other additional options (discussed below).

**#2: Use the Font dialog box to get at the superscript and subscript commands in Word:**

- 1Select the text you want to superscript or subscript
- 2Hit
**Ctrl**+**D**to open the Font Dialog box in Word - 3Select superscript or subscript
- 4Click
**OK**

One reason why the Font Dialog box is better than the standard keyboard shortcuts above, is that it gives you additional text effect and formatting options.

Instead of using the keyboard shortcut to open the Font Dialog box, you can always open it by clicking the diagonal facing arrow in the Font Group on your Ribbon as pictured above..

To remove a superscript or subscript in Word, simply select the text and re-apply the subscript or superscript (or unselect that text effect in the Font Dialog box)

To learn how to use your keyboard shortcuts to create the strikethrough effect in Word, see: Strikethrough Shortcuts (Word, Excel and PowerPoint)

## How to superscript and subscript in PowerPoint

Besides the two keyboard shortcuts mentioned above, you can use your Font Dialog to create subscripts and superscripts in PowerPoint.

**#1: To use the font dialog box to get at the superscript and subscript commands:**

- 1Select the text you want to superscript or subscript
- 2Hit
**Ctrl**+**T**to open the Font Dialog box in PowerPoint - 3Select superscript or subscript
- 4Click
**OK**

Instead of using the Ctrl + T keyboard shortcut to open the Font Dialog box, you can always open it by clicking the diagonal facing arrow in the Font Group in your PowerPoint Ribbon.

To remove a superscript or subscript, simply select the text and re-apply your subscript or superscript formatting (or unselect that text effect in the Font Dialog box)

To learn how to use your keyboard shortcuts to create the strikethrough and other text effects in PowerPoint on a PC, see: Strikethrough Shortcuts (Word, Excel and PowerPoint)**Superscript Shortcut in PowerPoint**

To see see the PowerPoint subscript and superscript shortcuts in action (including the Font Dialog box shortcut) see the short how to video below.

One other thing you can do with superscripts and subscripts in PowerPoint is to adjust the offset in the Font dialog box as pictured below.

## How to superscript and subscript in Excel

The only way to create a superscript and subscript in Excel outside of the mathematical equations tools, is through the Format Cells dialog box pictured below.

**#1: To use the Format Cells dialog box to get at the superscript and subscript commands:**

- 1Select the text inside the cell you want to subscript or superscript
- 2Hit
**Ctrl**+**1**to open the Font Dialog box - 3Make sure you are on the Font tab
- 4Select superscript or subscript
- 5Click
**OK**

**Special Note:** In Excel your superscript and subscript formatting will not show in the formula bar in your Ribbon (as pictured below). It will will only show up in the cell where the formatting has been applied.

If you don’t want to memorize the format cells shortcut, you can always open the Font Dialog box by clicking the downward facing arrow in font group in your Excel Ribbon (pictured below).

Also note, inside the Font Dialog box you can use your keyboard shortcuts to select or unselect the Superscript and Subscript commands (which you can see by the underlined letter in each).

To learn how to use your keyboard shortcuts to create the strikethrough and other text effects in Excel on a PC, see: Strikethrough Shortcuts (Word, Excel and PowerPoint)