How to add superscript in a Google Doc

Superscript is a format that is used in several contexts, especially the academic context. For example, you might have come across notations like this in your math class: X3, Y4-5, etc.

Superscript is also used to add citations in an essay or article, like this: word3 (the 3 will be referenced later in the list of citations).

Another common use of the superscript is for showing that something is copyrighted or trademarked: Apple.

All the examples for superscript shown above only contain words that are at the top right corner of the text. However, you can also add a superscript to the top left corner of the text, like this: BlueBlue.

With those examples, you might have understood that superscript is a format in which you add text to the top corners of the text. While most people are familiar with this format, they don’t know how they can add superscript in a word processing software like Word or Google Docs.

That is what we want to help you with today. In this article, we will take you through how to add a superscript in Google Docs. Specifically, we will explain the difference between subscript and superscript, then talk about four methods that you can use to add superscripts.

4 Ways to Add Super Scripts in a Google Doc

  • Adding superscript using keyboard shortcuts
  • Adding superscript from the Format menu
  • Adding superscript using ‘Special characters’
  • Adding superscript using ‘Equations’

Let’s get started.


The difference between subscript and superscript 

People often get confused between subscript and superscript. Although these two formats are related, they are not the same thing.

As we explained earlier, superscript is the text that you add to the top left or right corners of your text.

On the other hand, subscript is the text that you add to the bottom left or right corners of your text. Here are two examples of the subscript notation: X3, 4H1.

Superscripts are more widely used than subscripts, which are mainly used in the academic context.

The methods for adding a superscript and subscript in Google Docs are similar, but in this article, we will only be focusing on the superscript. We have talked about adding subscripts in a separate article. 

With that clarification, let’s now talk about the methods for adding superscript in Google Docs.


Method 1: Adding superscript using keyboard shortcuts

Although there are many methods of adding superscripts in Google Docs, we would recommend using this one as it is the easiest. It will save you time and effort, compared to adding superscripts by going to the Format or Insert menus.

Below are the steps for this method.

Step 1: Open your Google Docs document.

To start off, open the Google Docs document in which you want to add a superscript. You can do this by going to the Google Docs homepage at docs.google.com and clicking on one of the documents under ‘Recent documents.’ Make sure that you are first signed into your Google account.

If you don’t already have a document, you can create a new one. You can click on the plus sign at the top of the screen to create a completely blank document. You can also choose from one of the many templates Google Docs offers for class notes, resumes, invoices, etc. 

Step 2: Identify the text for which you want to add a superscript and place your cursor before or at the end.

Next, identify which word you want to add a superscript to. If you want to add the superscript to the top left corner of the text (like this: BlueBlue), then place your cursor at the start of the word. If you want to add the superscript to the top right corner of the text (like this: BlueBlue), then place your cursor at the end of the word. 

Step 3: Press Control + . (or Command + . for Mac users).

To add the superscript, press Control + . (or Command + . if you’re a Mac user) on your keyboard. You should see the pointer at one of the top corners of your word.

Now, type out the text you would like to have in the superscript. Then, press Control or Command + . once again to exit the superscript mode. 


Method 2: Adding superscript from the Format menu 

A longer method of adding the superscript is by going to the Format menu. You can follow this method if you are unable to use your keyboard for adding the superscript notation.

Here are the steps for this method.

Step 1: Place your cursor before or at the end of the word for which you want to add the superscript.

Like before, identify the word for which you want to add the superscript. If you want to add the superscript to the top left corner, place your cursor before the word. If you want to add the superscript to the top right corner, place your cursor after the word.

Step 2: Click on the Format tab.

Next, click on the Format tab, located in the top left corner of the screen, to the right of the Insert tab. This will open the Format drop down menu.

Step 3: Click on or hover over the Text option.

This is the first option in the Format drop down menu. Click on it or hover over it to open another drop down menu.

Step 4: Choose the superscript option.

This is the last but one option in the first section of the drop down menu. This will make your pointer jump to either the top left or top right corner of your text. 

Step 5: Type your superscript text. 

Next, type out your superscript text. 

To exit the superscript mode, repeat steps 1-4.


Method 3: Adding superscript using ‘Special characters’

Next, we will be talking about how to add superscripts using special characters.

Note that this method is also rather long so you’re better off using the keyboard shortcut or the Format menu. This method is only useful if you want to add special characters that you cannot add using your keyboard. Some examples of such characters are Greek and Latin letters.

A benefit of using this method is that it makes it really easy to search for characters (if you have a specific character in your mind). You can just draw the character on the screen and Google Docs will show relevant matches. We will talk more about this below.

That’s enough of an introduction! Let’s learn the steps for this method.

Step 1: Click on the Insert tab.

First, click on the Insert tab, which is located at the top left corner of the screen (to the right of the View tab).

Step 2: Click on ‘Special characters’ from the drop down menu.

Next, click on the ‘Special characters’ option from the drop down menu. This will open up a new window on your screen.

Step 3: Type superscript in the search box.

Type ‘superscript’ in the search box of the ‘Special characters’ window. To the left, you will see several special characters that are formatted as superscript. 

If you’re looking for a specific character, you can just draw it on the screen (right below the search box) and Google Docs will display all the characters that are similar to the one you drew. 

Step 4: Place your cursor before or at the end of the word.

Once again, make sure to place your cursor in the right position. If you want to add the superscript to the top left corner, place your cursor before the word. If you want to add the superscript to the top right corner, place your cursor at the end of the word.

Step 5: Click on the character of your choice.

From the ‘Special characters’ window, click on a character of your choice to insert it in the position you chose.


Method 4: Adding superscript using ‘Equations’

The last method of adding the superscript is by using ‘Equations.’ As the name suggests, this method is used for adding mathematical symbols and equations. 

Here are the steps.

Step 1: Click on the Insert tab. 

Click on the Insert tab at the top left corner of your screen. 

Step 2: Click on ‘Equations’ from the drop down menu. 

The ‘Equations’ option is right below the ‘Special characters’ option. Click on it.

Step 3: Choose an option from the toolbar.

When you click on ‘Equations,’ a toolbar will appear on the screen. You will find several options in the top left corner. The last but one option has several options for adding superscripts. Click on one of these options.

Step 4: Type out your text.

Next, place your cursor in the position where you would like to add the superscript. Then, type out your text and click anywhere else on the screen to exit the equation mode.

Deleting the superscript 

To delete the superscript, select the superscript text and press the Backspace or Delete button on your keyboard.


Conclusion 

Finally, this brings us to the end of the article. Since we covered a lot today, here’s a brief summary. 

Superscript refers to the text you add to the top corner of a word. There are four methods you can use to add the superscript in Google Docs. First, you can use the keyboard shortcut, which is the most convenient way of adding it.

You can also add the superscript by going to the Format >> Text or by going to the Insert menu >> Special characters or Equation.

Thank you for reading!

Lear how to add Subscript in a Google Doc.

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