What is Superscript in Excel?
Superscripts are similar to the subscripts which are texts and numbers smaller than the rest of the text but they appear above the rest of the text in excel and to use this type of formatting option in our data we need to right-click on the cell and from the format cells tab in the font section check the superscript option.
How to Superscript in Excel? (Using Top 5 Methods)
Here are the top 5 methods to superscript in excel –
#1 – Long method
- To select the required text which we want to make as superscript. To select the text, either we can press F2 to enter into ‘edit mode’ for the selected cell or double click on the cell and then select the text for applying the formatting.
- To open the ‘Format Cells‘ dialog box, either we can use the shortcut key which is Ctrl+1 or we can click on the arrow placed at bottom right of the ‘Font’ group.
In the dialog box, we can tick for checkbox of ‘Superscript’ and then click on ‘OK’.
#2 – Short Method
The above-mentioned method was long. We could also use the shortcut key, which is Ctrl+Shift+F, Alt+e.
Please note that the keys should not be pressed simultaneously, each key combination should be pressed and released in turn:
- Select one or more characters we want to format.
- Press Ctrl+Shift+F to open the Format Cells dialog box.
- Then press either Alt + E to select the Superscript option in excel.
- Hit the Enter key to apply the formatting and close the dialog.
#3 – Equation Method
To insert an equation, the steps are:
Insert tab -> Symbols Group -> Equation Command
The contextual tab ‘Design’ will open like below:
And the input box will open to enter the equation like below.
We need to select the ‘Superscript’ option from the script.
After selecting ‘Superscript option in excel’, the input box will appear like below:
We need to type the number in both the boxes and the result will appear like below
We could also use the ‘Ink Equation’ option from the ‘Tools’ group, which allow us to write the equation with mouse and preview the same how the excel is recognizing the same.
After we click on ‘Insert’ button, the text will appear in the text box
Cons of Using Equation Method
This method inserts math as an Excel object, not cell value. We can move, resize and rotate the equations by using the handles, but we cannot reference them in formulas.
#4 – To Type Superscript with Alt Key
MS Excel also offers us to type superscripted numbers (only 1, 2 and 3) using the Alt Key. To do the same, we need to press some numbers while pressing the Alt Key.
Specified shortcuts will only work if the font chosen is ‘Calibri’ or ‘Arial’. If we have selected any other font, then the characters may be different which we get after typing these codes.
The superscripted number or the number written with this are converted into ‘Number String’ that is why we cannot use these values for calculation.
#5 – Char Function Method
We can also use the ‘Char’ function for typing superscripted numbers. The details are as below:
Like the previous method, this formula output is a string, which we cannot use for calculations in excel.
If we had to add the same superscripted number to all the numbers, then we can use the ‘Custom’ format.
The steps are as follow:
Suppose we have 5 numbers to which we need to add a superscript shortcut in excel.
We will select the numbers, and then press Ctrl+1 to open the ‘Format Cells’ dialog box and select the ‘Number’ tab.
In the ‘Number’ tab, we will select the Custom and type the desired superscript 0² and then click on ‘OK’.
The output will be:
Unlike the previous method, this only changes the visual representation of the cell not the real value in the cell (difference can be checked by checking value in the formula bar and in the cell). If we use the cell in any of the formulae, the real value (formula bar value) will be used for calculation.
Superscript Shortcut in Excel
For example, we can use superscript shortcuts to write square units like m2 or inch2, ordinal numbers such as 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, or exponents in math such as 23 or 52.
To do the same we have used the shortcut keys
- Ctrl+F1 to open the ‘Format Cells’ dialog box
- Alt+E to tick the ‘Superscript’ checkbox
- Hitting enter.
Things to Remember
- Most Excel formatting can be applied to any data type in the same way but Superscript shortcut has a different story. We cannot apply superscript shortcut to numbers as this would convert numbers to strings. If we want to make calculation then we need to use the ‘^’ operator like below for getting the effect of power (Superscripted number).
This has been a guide to Superscript in Excel. Here we discuss the top 5 methods to superscript along with excel example and downloadable excel templates. You may also look at these useful functions in excel –