How to: Exponents With the Alt Key

Unicodes are a unique series of numbers that identify the characters, numbers and symbols of a font. Using a unicode, you can insert special characters, or those not located on your keyboard. This feature is useful if you have a full number pad on your keyboard or you work with exponents frequently. However, only the exponents "2" and "3" may be inserted using this method. Keep in mind that the "Alt" key will not enable unicodes in all programs--e.g., in MS Calculator, the keyboard shortcut for entering an exponent is "E."

Word and Excel

Step

Click in the the body of the document. Type the base number of your exponent. If you are typing 5 to the power of 3, the base is "5."

Step

Place the cursor to the right of the base where the exponent should be inserted. Hold "Alt" and simultaneously enter the unicode for the exponent. For example, "Alt" + 0179 = 3; "Alt" + 0178 = 2.

Step

Release "Alt" to reveal the inserted exponent.