How to Type a Squared 2 Using OpenOffice


OpenOffice is capable of writing and displaying mathematical formulas, even something as simple as "2²." There are several ways to create the superscript needed to convey this number, most of which can be found within OpenOffice itself. You can use the built-in Formula tool, insert a special character or change the formatting on existing text. You can also use the Windows Character Map tool to convey this number.

Insert Formula

  • The easiest way to display "2²" is to use OpenOffice's Formula tool. The tool is found in the Insert menu, under the Object heading. Once the tool is loaded, just enter "2^2" to create "2²" in your document. You can use this tool to create other exponential numbers, or to create more complicated formulas. There is special syntax in place for creating formulas in this fashion, such as using the "^" symbol to indicate an exponential number.

Insert Special Character

  • You can also use the Special Character tool to create "2²." This tool is found in the Insert Menu with its own heading. This will open a window similar to the Windows Character Map, but localized entirely in OpenOffice. After selecting your font, the "Latin-1" option from the Subset drop-down menu will take you to the page containing the "²" character, which will be added to your document when you select it and click "OK." The downside to this tool is that it can't be used to create any exponential numbers that aren't comprised entirely of 1, 2 or 3. It is also dependent on the font you're using supporting the "²" symbol.

Windows Character Map

  • The Windows Character Map can also be used to display "2²" in your OpenOffice document. To open this app, you'll need to use the Charms menu's search tool to look up "Character Map," which should reveal the app. Select the font you're using and scroll through the list until you find the "²" symbol. Once you've found it, select it and then click "Select," followed by "Copy." The symbol will be copied to the clipboard, so you can insert it anywhere in your OpenOffice document by right-clicking and selecting "Paste" or pressing "Ctrl-V." Like the Special Character tool, this is dependent on your font supporting the "²" symbol. It's also more time consuming than the Special Character tool, as it doesn't divide the symbols into sub-groups.

Superscript Positioning

  • If your font doesn't support the "²" symbol, you can use OpenOffice text formatting to create one. To create "2²," type out "22" and then highlight the second "2." Under the Format option, you can find the "Character" heading, which will format the selected text. In the "Position" tab, change the setting from "Normal" to "Superscript" and click "OK." This will reformat the number's position to appear as superscript, effectively turning "22" into "2²."


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