How to add a Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets

Learn the basics of this important function of Google Sheets. This information will help you better navigate through the various facets of the program.

If you came from a technical field such as science and engineering, you will be very familiar with the mathematical symbols of subscripts and superscripts. In fact, we often use a shorthand when typing subscripts and superscripts:

Left:  What you want to type. Right: The shorthand when you cannot add superscript symbols or subscript symbols.
Left:  What you want to type. Right: The shorthand when you cannot enter superscript and subscripts. 

Fortunately, in these 3 simple Google Sheets tutorials, we will show you how to easily add subscript and superscript in Google Sheets so that you do not need to use extra symbols in your mathematical formulae or scientific notations.

Method 1: How to add subscript and superscript characters with the CHAR function

The CHAR function returns a character corresponding to a specific ASCII code. We have attached below the ASCII codes for each subscript and superscript in Google Sheets.

To use this formula, follow these steps:

Step 1: Enter your original string into Google Sheets.

For example, we want to write E=mc^2 with the two as a superscript.

E=mc2 entered into cell A1
Original String

Step 2: Find the ASCII code for the corresponding subscript or superscript that you want to add.

In our example, we want to add a superscript 2 to replace the regular 2 in our equation. Our ASCII code is 178.

So that you do not have to look up your ASCII code for the CHAR function, we have attached a list of common codes at the end of this Method 1 tutorial.

Step 3: Type =CHAR(ascii code) into the formula bar to generate a superscript or subscript

In our example, we need to include other characters with the superscript. To do so, we include the string in quotes and attach it to the CHAR function with an "&" symbol.

We would type ="E=mc"&CHAR(178)

Formula inserted
Formula Entered

ASCII codes for Subscripts

ASCII subscript character code List

ASCII Codes for Superscripts

ASCII superscript character code list

Method 2: How to add subscript and superscript in Google Sheets with a Unicode Generator

In addition to using the CHAR function, another simple method for adding a subscript or superscript to your Google Sheets is to use Unicode symbols. You can use one of many online tools to generate a Unicode symbol and then paste it into your Google Sheet, such as Superscript Generator ― LingoJam or Subscript Generator ― LingoJam.

We have also included the Unicode symbols under this paragraph, and you can easily copy and paste the Unicode symbols directly into your own spreadsheet.

Superscripts -> X⁺⁻⁰¹²³⁴⁵⁶⁷⁸⁹

Subscripts -> x₊₋₀₁₂₃₄₅₆₇₈₉

This method of using Unicode symbols is best when you only have a few equations. It can become tedious to copy paste each Unicode symbol into your Google Sheet. Also, Unicode still does not have Unicode characters for the whole alphabet in superscript and subscript form, so you might want to think twice if you want to add whole words to your Google Sheets with it. 

Method 3: Using Google Docs to Superscript and Subscript numbers

The third method involves creating a superscript or subscript in a word processor, then transferring the symbols to your Google Sheet. For this article, we will use a Google Doc.

Step 1

After typing your statistical data or notation in Google Docs, select the number that you want to superscript.

Step 2

Next, click the Format menu, and hover over the Text option.

Step 3

From the menu, select the Superscript option.

You could also choose Subscript if you need that option.

Your text will look like this:

Step 4

You can now simply copy and paste your new symbol or the whole string into your Google Sheets spreadsheet. Voila!


Now that you have 3 methods to add superscript and subscript numbers into Google Sheets, you should have no trouble with mathematical formulas or chemical formulae. Your superscript and subscript characters will make your spreadsheet stand out as more professional and exact compared to using other workaround notations.

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