[Quick Tip] How to Apply Superscript and Subscript Format in Excel

Watch Video – How to Apply Superscript and Subscript Format in Excel

If you want to apply superscript or subscript format to the text in a cell, you may not find anything for it in the ribbon.

This is one of those things where you need to go a level deep to make it happen.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to apply the superscript and subscript format in Excel.

Superscript Format in Excel

A superscript format is needed when you want to have 1st, 2nd, 3rd with the alphabets in the superscript format.

Or

When you want to enter the temperature along with the degree sign but in a superscript format.

Superscript and Subscript Format in Excel - Superscript

Here is how you can apply the superscript format in Excel:

  • Select the cell and double click on it to get into the edit mode (or press F2 to get into the edit mode).
  • Select the text to which you want to apply the superscript formatting.Superscript and Subscript Format in Excel - Select st
  • Right-click on the selected text and select Format Cells.Superscript and Subscript Format in Excel - Format Cells Superscript
  • In the Format Cells dialog box, check the Superscript option.Superscript and Subscript Format in Excel - Superscript option
  • Click Ok.

This would make the selected part appear as a superscript.

Note: There is no way to apply this formatting to text in different cells at one go. You’ll have to select the text one by one in each cell and repeat the above steps.

Subscript Format in Excel

Subscript format usage is quite rare in Excel. But in case you need to get some text in the subscript format, here are the steps:

It is often used when writing chemical equations (remember water’s chemical formula H20 when 2 is below H in a subscript format).

Superscript and Subscript Format in Excel - Subscript

But in case you need to get some text in the subscript format, here are the steps:

  • Select the cell and double click on it to get into the edit mode (or press F2 to get into the edit mode).
  • Select the text to which you want to apply the subscript formatting.Superscript and Subscript Format in Excel - Superscript select
  • Right-click on the selected text and select Format Cells.Superscript and Subscript Format in Excel - Superscript right-click
  • In the Format Cells dialog box, check the Subscript option.Superscript and Subscript Format in Excel - Subscript select
  • Click Ok.

Again, there is no way to apply this formatting to text in different cells at one go. You’ll have to select the text one by one in each cell and repeat the above steps.

Superscript and Subscript formats are used more often in MS Word and PowerPoint and you can also add these to Quick Access Toolbar. Unfortunately, there is no option to add these in the QAT in Excel.

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  • jim says:

    works great until you copy-and-paste-as-values elsewhere or someone else “helpfully” changes the format
    I prefer to use the Arial Unicode characters (get them via Character Map – ¹²³⁴⁵⁶⁷⁸⁹⁰₁₂₃₄₅₆₇₈₉₀)
    They don’t get recognised as numbers, so won’t auto-increment either

  • Deepak says:

    great tip, but how to do it for Degree ?

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