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Ms Word shortcut for Subscript and Superscript

Subscript and superscript are an integral part of any scientific manuscript. Many of the equations in science, mathematics and engineering contain subscripts and superscript. Chemical reaction also requires subscript and superscripts.

Three different ways to write subscript and superscript in Ms Word.

  1. Graphical User Interface (GUI)
  2. Keyboard shortcut
  3. Math Auto-correct (Fastest way)

1) Using GUI

This method is simple and intuitive. If you are new to Microsoft Word, this is the shortcut you are probably using.

Animation on how to add Subscript and superscript in Ms Word
Animation on how to add Subscript and superscript in Microsoft Word
  1. Select text you want to make subscript/superscript
  2. Navigate to Home -> Font
  3. Click on button showing x_2 (for subscript) or x^2 (for superscript)

2) Keyboard Shortcut

This method is a just shortcut for the GUI method. Convert text in to subscript / superscript, just select text and press following keyboard shortcut.

Animation of how to insert subscript and superscript in Ms Word using keyboard shortcut
Animation of how to insert subscript and superscript in Ms Word using keyboard shortcut.
  1. Keyboard shortcut for Subscript : Press Control and = together (<Ctrl>+<=> )
  2. Keyboard shortcut for Superscript: Press Control & Shift & = together (<Ctrl>+<Shift>+<=> )

3) Math AutoCorrect shortcut for Subscript and Superscript

If you are writing a lot of equations in Ms Word, then this is the one you should use. This shortcut is like latex and saves a lot of time. But one thing to note is that this method works only in equation editor of Word.

Animation of equation editor shortcut for subscript and superscript in Ms Word
Equation editor shortcut for inserting subscript and superscript in Ms word.
Smart way to write subscript and superscript in Word
  1. Shortcut: Use _ for subscript and ^ for superscript
  2. Include text you want to put as subscript or superscript after shortcut. Subscript or super script text contains spaces then enclose them in bracket.
  3. Press space
  4. For getting subscript and superscript before text use \zwsp before using above shortcut for subscript and superscript
UseForUseFor
Area_circle<sp>Area_{circle}r^2<sp>r^{2}
A_(big circle)<sp> A_{big \ circle}H^(2 square)<sp>H^{i \ n}
r^2_outer[sp]r^2_{outer}r^2_(outer circle)r^2_{outer\  circle}
\zwsp[sp]_c[sp]R_cR\zwsp[sp]^c[sp]R^cR
\zwsp[sp]_c^d[sp]R_c^dR\zwsp[sp]_c^d[sp]R_e^f[sp]_c^dR_e^f
Equation editor shortcut for Sub script and Super script

In the above table, <sp> stands for space, pressing space bar is important and is required to tell Math Autocorrect feature of Word to correct the formatting

Conclusion

There are 3 ways viz. GUI, keyboard shortcut and Math Autocorrect to insert subscript and super script in Ms Word. Math Autocorrect method is like LaTeX but works only inside equation editor.

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1 thought on “Ms Word shortcut for Subscript and Superscript

  1. In Equation Editor, characters typed after using subscript continue as subscript.
    How to return to normal font?

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