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How to use subscript and superscript in Google Docs

Turning in work to your substitute teacher without proper subscripts would be suboptimal.
By
February 15, 2022
Google Docs Subscript
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

When doing high school and university assignments, inputting an answer like “H2O” after “what is the chemical formula for water?” is an incredibly useful feature. That small “2” is what’s known as a subscripted figure or character that appears below the middle of the line you’re typing on. On the other hand, superscript is something like 42, where the small “2” appears above the middle of the line you’re typing on. Let’s go over how to do subscript and superscript in Google Docs.

Read more: How to check your version of Google Chrome

QUICK ANSWER

To turn on subscript in Google Docs, click Format Text X2 Subscript. This will turn on subscript, and everything you type will be in subscript until you turn it off.

To turn on superscript in Google Docs, click Format Text X2 Superscript. This will turn on superscript, and everything you type will be in superscript until you turn it off.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS 

Using subscript and superscript in Google Docs allows you to create more accurate content. For example, instead of writing “H2O” as the chemical for water, you can properly write it as “H2O.”

How to format text as subscript in Google Docs

Android and iOS

In your Google Doc, press the Format button in the top toolbar; this looks like a capital letter ‘A’ to the left of four horizontal lines.

press format from the top
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

In the Text tab at the bottom, press the X2 button to turn on subscript. Press the X2 button again to turn this off so it isn’t highlighted.

press the subscript button
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

PC and Mac

On Google Docs, click the Format tab at the top. You can highlight what you wish to subscript as shown below, or, if you simply want to type in subscript, click where you want to start typing.

click the format button for subscript
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

Hover your cursor over Text and click X2 Subscript from the extended menu.

subscript click from the extended menu
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

When finished, your text will be in subscript and look like this:

format as subscript on pc
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

How to format text as superscript in Google Docs

Android and iOS

In your Google Doc, press the Format button in the top toolbar; this looks like a capital letter ‘A’ to the left of four horizontal lines.

press the format button at the top of the app
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

In the Text tab at the bottom, press the X2 button to turn on superscript. To turn this off, press the X2 button again to avoid highlighting it.

press the superscript button
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

PC and Mac

On Google Docs, click the Format tab at the top. You can highlight what you wish to subscript as shown below, or, if you simply want to type in subscript, click where you wish to start typing.

click the format button for superscript
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

Hover your cursor over Text and click X2 Superscript from the extended menu.

click superscript from the extended menu
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

When finished, your text will be formatted in superscript and look like this:

format as superscript on pc
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

How to insert special characters in Google Docs

If you were looking for some other small character that you can’t type in superscript or subscript, then you may be looking for a special character.

To insert special characters into your Google Doc, you must be using it on your computer. Alternatively, you can try accessing Google Docs from your mobile browser in Desktop site mode.

In your Google Doc, click the Insert tab at the top.

click insert to find special characters
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

From the following dropdown, click Ω Special characters.

click special characters
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

Locate the special character you are looking for by scrolling through the list, typing its name in the Search by keyword (e.g. arrow) or codepoint field, or drawing the symbol in the bottom box on the right. Click it from the list on the left to insert it when you find it.

insert special characters
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

FAQs

What is the shortcut for subscript in Google Docs?

Google provides a quick keyboard shortcut to turn on subscript in Google Docs. On your keyboard, press Ctrl + , to activate subscript.

What is the shortcut for superscript in Google Docs?

Google provides a quick keyboard shortcut to turn on superscript in Google Docs. On your keyboard, press Ctrl + . to activate superscript.