Superscript in Excel

Updated on January 2, 2024
Article byBabita Sehdev
Edited byAshish Kumar Srivastav
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What is Superscript in Excel?

Superscripts are similar to subscripts, texts, and numbers smaller than the rest of the text. Still, they appear above the rest of the text in Excel. So, to use this formatting option in our data, we need to right-click on the cell and check the “Superscript” option from the “Format Cells” tab in the “Font” section.

How to Superscript in Excel? (Using Top 5 Methods)

Here are the top 5 methods to superscript in Excel.

You can download this Superscript Excel Template here – Superscript Excel Template

#1 – Long method

Superscript in Excel

In the dialog box, we can tick the checkbox of “Superscript” and then click on “OK.”

Superscript in Excel - long method

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#2 – Short Method

The method mentioned above was long. We could also use the shortcut key, Ctrl+Shift+F, Alt+e.

Superscript in Excel - Short method

Please note that we should not press the keys simultaneously. Instead, each key combination should be pressed and released in turn:

Superscript in Excel - Short method (Alt+E)
  • Press 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

Superscript in Excel - Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) Method 4

The contextual tab “Design” will open like below:

And the input box will open to enter the equation like below.

Equation Method

We must select the “Superscript” option from the “Script.”

Equation Method 1

After selecting the “Superscript option in Excel, the input box will appear like below:

Equation Method 2

Next, we need to type the number in both boxes. The result will appear as below.

Equation Method 3

We could also use the “Ink Equation” option from the “Tools” group, which allows us to write the equation with a mouse and preview how Excel recognizes the same.

Equation Method 4
Equation Method 5

After we click the “Insert” button, the text will appear in the text box.

Equation Method 6

Cons of Using Equation Method

This method inserts math as an Excel object, not a 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 superscript numbers (only 1, 2, and 3) using the Alt key. To do the same, we must press some numbers while pressing the “Alt” key.

Superscript in Excel -To type superscript with Alt Key

The specified shortcuts will only work if the font 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 is 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 superscript typing numbers. The details are as below:

Superscript in Excel - Char Function Method

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 could use the “Custom” format.

The steps are as follows:

Suppose we have 5 numbers to which we need to add a superscript shortcut in Excel.

Superscript in Excel - Char Function Method 1

We will select the numbers and then press “Ctrl+1” to open the “Format Cells” dialog box and select the “Number” tab.

Superscript in Excel - Char Function Method 2

In the “Number” tab, we will select the “Custom, type the desired superscript 0² and then click on “OK.”

Superscript in Excel - Char Function Method 3

The output will be:

Superscript in Excel - Char Function Method 4

Unlike the previous method, this only changes the cell’s visual representation, not the cell’s real value (we can check the difference by checking the ing value in the formula bar and the cell). If we use the cell in any 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.

Superscript in Excel - Char Function Method 5

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
  • Pressed the “Enter” key.

Things to Remember

  • Most Excel formatting can similarly apply to any data type, but the superscript shortcut has a different story. We cannot apply superscript shortcuts to numbers, as this would convert numbers to strings. If we want to make calculations, we need to use the ‘^’ operator like below to get the power effect (superscripted number).
Superscript in Excel - Char Function Method 6

This article is a guide to Superscript in Excel. Here, we discuss the top 5 methods to superscript along with Excel examples and downloadable Excel templates. You may also look at these useful functions in Excel: –