How to Add Subscript or Superscript in Google Sheets

Subscripts and Superscripts are characters that are smaller than the standard text:

  • Subscripts are positioned slightly lower than regular text. They are used when writing equations or chemical compounds (for example, H₂O).
  • Superscripts are positioned slightly higher than standard text. They are used to raise a number or variable to a specific power (for example, X⁴). It also represents temperatures in degrees (e.g., 10°C).

Two main methods are used to add Subscripts and Superscripts in Google Sheets.

First method: Using the CHAR Function

CHAR stands for “Character function”. CHAR allows you to convert numbers into special characters such as Exponents, Emojis, Typographical symbols, and others.

The syntax for the CHAR Function is:

=CHAR(Number)

Where Number is the number that specifies the character you want. Here is an example of the CHAR function in use.

Char Function
Example of CHAR Function.

You can find a list of Subscript and Superscript CHAR number codes on Wikipedia. For example, the CHAR code for ² is 178, and the CHAR code for ° is 176.

Second method: Using third-party websites

There is no native way to write subscript or superscript characters without using the CHAR function. However, you can use third-party websites and copy-paste the characters from there. For example, some popular ones are unicode-table.com or graphemica.com. I will use Unicode-Table for this example:

  1. Go to unicode-table.com
  2. Under the “Content” section, click on the Subscript, Superscript option.

    Subscript Superscript
    Select the Subscript Superscript option.
  3. Choose the character you want to use.

    Special Characters
    Choose your subscript or superscript character.
  4. Click on the Copy button.

    Copy button
    Select the Copy button
  5. Go to your Google Spreadsheet and paste the copied character into the required cell.

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