How to Create Superscript and Subscript in MS Word

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Creating superscript and subscript is one of many features of modern word processing that helps academic or scientific writers to format their papers easily and efficiently. With digital printing and software, these kinds of text features are a snap. Prior to the new technology, subscript and superscript had to be written into text. Microsoft Word offers a lot of different formatting as options on its basic menus for easy use.

  • Select the part of the text you want to make subscript or superscript using the cursor.

  • Go to the "Format" menu option at the main menu above your text editing screen.

  • Select the "Font Line" from the format menu and then click on the tab that says "Font" to open up font options. You'll see a diversely populated tab with text boxes and drop-down lists for changing the style, size or font of your selected text. You'll also see check boxes for certain features including subscript and superscript.

  • Find the subscript and superscript check boxes. Check the feature you want to format your selected text.

  • Hit "Ok" and return to your text editing screen. Your text should be subscripted or superscripted as you requested.

Tips & Warnings

  • Choose superscript and subscript according to their academic uses. Superscript is most often used for exponential references and in mathematics. You may want to use subscript for a day of the month (1st, 22nd) or similar item.
  • To do a large volume of subscripting or superscripting, it might help to format once, then copy and paste the resulting text. That way, you just change the characters, but you don't have to go back to the font formatting screen each time. Think about similar ways to engineer your papers to cut down on time spent formatting.
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