How to Add Superscripts in MS Word

In Word 2013, you add superscript to individual characters from the Home tab. Although a simple format change, this can turn your writing into a stop-start process if you frequently use superscript characters, such as the squared symbol. If you prefer to keep your creative juices flowing and your fingers typing, you can also set up a keyboard shortcut for superscript characters you use regularly in Word's AutoCorrect tool.

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The superscript button toggles superscript on and off.
credit: Image courtesy Microsoft

Add Superscript to Individual Characters

Step

Type or insert the letter, number or symbol that you want to change to superscript. For example, if you want to make an x-squared character, start by using regular letters and numbers -- so type x2 into your document.

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The superscript button is white when disabled.
credit: Image courtesy Microsoft
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Take care to highlight only the character you want to format.
credit: Image courtesy Microsoft

Step

Highlight the 2 in your text. In the Font area of the Home tab, select the Superscript button, the x-squared symbol. The button toggles on and changes color, and your number format changes to superscript.

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The superscript button is blue when switched on.
credit: Image courtesy Microsoft

Step

Make sure that the cursor is to the right of the superscript number you've just formatted. Select the Superscript button again to turn it off -- it will switch back to its original color. If you don't disable it, you'll carry on typing in superscript. If you do this by mistake, highlight the characters and select the Superscript button to switch the characters back to their regular size.

Add a Superscript Shortcut in AutoCorrect

Step

Type a 2 in your document, highlight it and select the Superscript button from the Home tab. Copy the new superscript character. Open the File tab and then Options.

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You can add a shortcut for any superscript character
credit: Image courtesy Microsoft
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You can also set shortcuts for subscript symbols.
credit: Image courtesy Microsoft

Step

Open Proofing and select AutoCorrect Options. You're going to set keys into the AutoCorrect tool and connect them to your squared symbol, so that Word inserts it automatically whenever you use the right key combination.

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Word already has shortcuts for copyright and trademark symbols.
credit: Image courtesy Microsoft

Step

Select the Formatted Text button. You should see the number you copied in the box below. Type /#, without bold, in the Replace box. Make sure that the Replace Text As You Type box is checked. Select Add and then OK twice to return to your document. Now, whenever you type /#, Word should automatically insert the squared symbol.