How To Add Subscript and Superscript In Google Sheets

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to add a subscript or superscript in Google Sheets.

Superscript In Google Sheets

Superscript And Subscript Google Sheets Template

All of the superscript and subscript characters and CHAR function equivalents are available in this free template:

Superscript Google Sheets Template

Superscript Template

Open it and make your own copy from the menu: File > Make a copy

Superscript In Google Sheets

At the moment there is no built-in option to add a superscript in Google Sheets (or subscript), so we have to be creative to achieve the effect.

Method 1: Copy Paste Unicode Characters

  1. Go to the website Graphemica, which is a great site to search for unicode characters
  2. Type in the symbol you want, using words instead of numbers e.g. “superscript two”
  3. Copy the result (e.g. for superscript two)
  4. Paste into your Google Sheet in the formula bar
  5. To get multiple superscripts next to each other, just copy them multiple times e.g. ¹ then ² to get ¹²

Here’s a list of superscripts, which you can copy:

Character Superscript
0
1 ¹
2 ²
3 ³
4
5
6
7
8
9
a
b
c
d ͩ
e ͤ
f
g
h ͪ
i ͥ
j ʲ
k
l ˡ
m ͫ
n
o ͦ
p
q Not available (why?)
r ͬ
s ˢ
t ͭ
u ͧ
v ͮ
w ʷ
x ˣ
y ʸ
z
+
=
(
)

Method 2: Create Superscripts in Google Sheets with the CHAR function

The CHAR function converts a number into a character according to the current Unicode table.

It’s a fun and amazing function.

It lets you add weird and wonderful pictures to your Google Sheets using formulas, such as this Christmas tree (from my newsletter) or this turkey:

Turkey in Google Sheets

Anyway, I’m getting carried away. You came here to learn how to add a superscript not a turkey.

Back on the superscript two Graphemica page (see Method 1 above), copy the number part of the HTML Entity (Decimal), shown in red:

graphemica superscript two

Enter this formula in your Google Sheet:

=CHAR(178)

char function Google Sheets

With this in mind, here’s how you can create Einstein’s famous mass-energy formula:

="E = mc"&CHAR(178)

Mass Energy Equation in Google Sheets

(Quick aside: You can use the CHAR function embedded in other formulas, like any other function.

For instance, here’s how to use the CHAR function to Create Custom Table Headers in Google Sheets Using Text Rotation.)

Subscript In Google Sheets

Add subscripts in the same way you added superscripts to your Google Sheets.

Method 1: Copy Paste Unicode Characters

Search Graphemica and copy-paste the subscript into your Google Sheet, for example subscript two.

Here are the subscript characters:

Character Superscript
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
a
e
i
o
r
u
v
x
y
+
=
(
)

Method 2: Subscript in Google Sheets Using the CHAR function

Consider the chemical makeup of water: two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, written H₂O.

In the same vein as the superscript example, you can use the CHAR function to create the subscript.

Using Graphemica, search for the subscript you want and take the number from the HTML Entity (Decimal):

graphemica

Insert this into your CHAR function to create the subscript in Google Sheets:

=CHAR(8322)

Building on this, the full formula for water is:

="H"&CHAR(8322)&"O"

Subscript In Google Sheets

Sugar Example

Here’s a more complex chemical compound — sugar — which has the molecular formula C₁₂H₂₂O₁₁

="C"&CHAR(8321)&CHAR(8322)&"H"&CHAR(8322)&CHAR(8322)&"O"&CHAR(8321)&CHAR(8321)

Subscript In Google Sheets

Last Resort: Font Size

You can also achieve a subscript effect by changing the font size of the subscript digits in your text.

For example, setting the main text to font size 10 and the subscript to font size 6 will create a subscript effect.

However, I wouldn’t advocate this method because it’s tedious and not robust. But if you’re in a pinch and need a unique subscript that you can’t find elsewhere, maybe it’ll help you out.


Looking for a Google Sheets expert to help with your next project? Schedule a consult today with a Ben-approved Google Sheets expert.

One thought on “How To Add Subscript and Superscript In Google Sheets”

  1. I’m a Google sheet beginner I have created a Google sheet that has several protection on it I want you to help me to create a script that will duplicate the protection with the sheet anytime I duplicate the sheet

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