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Replace text with subscript or superscript in Ms Word

Jane has a big Ms Word document where she wants to replace CO2 with CO2. She noted we could not replace text with subscript or superscript using standard Find and Replace option. In-fact, find and replace tool treats subscript as normal text i.e. find and replace tool of Word treats CO2 as CO2.

Ms Word provides a couple of different ways to achieve it.

Method 1: Using Format option in Find and Replace (for more general way see Method 2)

This method involves 2 steps. First step involves replacing the subscript or superscript text with a unique text. Then in the next step replace that unique text with desired subscript/superscript

  1. Open “Find and Replace” dialogue box by navigating Home > Replace or using “Ctrl + H” (Windows). Word user on Mac can use keyboard shortcut “Shift + Command + H”
  2. In Find what type CO2 and in Replace with type CO++2++. Note that ++2++ is dummy text and you can use any other unique text.
Step 1 to replace text with subscript or superscript
  1. click “Replace All” to replace all instances at once.
  2. Again in open find and replace dialogue and in “Find what” type “++2++” and in “Replace with” type 2.
  3. Click on More (to show advance options).
  1. Place our cursor in Replace with dialogue box and select Format > Font and check box against the desired effect. i.e. subscript or superscript
Font option to replace text with subscript
  1. Click “Replace All” to replace all instance with desired subscript or superscript text.

Method 2: Replace text with clipboard

Compared to above 2-step process (Method 1), this method is faster and easy. In this method we copy the CO2 and in “Replace with” user clipboard.

  1. Copy CO2
  2. Open “Find and Replace” dialogue box by navigating Home > Replace or using “Ctrl + H” (Windows). Word user for Mac can use keyboard shortcut “Shift + Command + H”
  3. In “Find what” type CO2 and in “Replace with” type ^c as shown. Open “Find and Replace” dialogue box by navigating Home > Replace or using “Ctrl + H” (Windows). Word user for Mac can use keyboard shortcut “Shift + Command + H”: ^c means clipboard, a temporary memory that stores recently copied content.
  4. Click “Replace all”
Shortcut to replace text with subscript or superscript or pre-formatted text.
Replacing text with text in clipboard

My YouTube video covering the above trick

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