Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Superscripts in Custom Formats.

Superscripts in Custom Formats

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 9, 2014)

4

When working in Excel, you can easily format text so that it contains superscripts, subscripts, or whatever other formatting tricks you want. You use the Cells option on the Format menu to make these font modifications. This menu option is not available when you are defining custom formats, however. What if you want to place a superscript in your custom formats?

The answer is to use some of the special font characters available to Windows users. Using these characters you can easily insert superscripted numbers, as long as they are the numbers 0, 1, 2, or 3. Simply use the following shortcuts, where you hold down the Alt key as you type the numbers on the numeric keypad:

Superscript Shortcut
0 Alt+0186
1 Alt+0185
2 Alt+0178
3 Alt+0179

These shortcuts work if you are using the Arial font in your worksheet, which is the default. If you are using some other font, the character codes to create the superscripted numbers may be different. In that case, you will need to use the Windows Character Map accessory to figure out what shortcut keys to use to get the results you want. (On my Windows XP system, I can access the Character Map accessory by choosing Start | All Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Character Map. It may differ on your version of Windows. You may also need to install the Character Map using Windows Setup program if you cannot find it on your system.) When using the Character Map, you can select a symbol and see in the lower-right corner of the program window what the numeric keypad shortcut key is for the character.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (1946) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Superscripts in Custom Formats.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Finding Fields

Fields allow you to add simple dynamic content to your document. Here's how you can find the fields when you need to know ...

Discover More

Managing Corporate Templates

Templates are used to store styles and lots of other customizations that affect how you use Word. On a single-user machine, ...

Discover More

Summing Digits in a Value

Want to add up all the digits in a given value? It's a bit trickier than it may at first seem.

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Too Many Cell Formats

The error message "too many cell formats" can be difficult to fix. This tip describes ways you can attempt to get rid of the ...

Discover More

Random Width and Height Changes

Have you ever been using a workbook, only to open it one day and find that Excel has changed the height of your rows or the ...

Discover More

Changing Font Color

There are any number of reasons to format different cells in different colors. Excel allows you to easily change the color ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 2 + 1?

2017-02-11 06:27:47

Willy Vanhaelen

@rich soby

Try: =SUM(H2:H5)+N("1")

Teh N() function returns zero when it's argument is text so it doesn't affect the SUM function in this case.


2017-02-10 10:41:34

rich soby

Had a curious questioned asked - the excel is later embedded into power point - situation is a cell has a sum formula eg(=sum(h2:h6)) - and in some cases they want to put notes for the sums below on the PP slide - so they want to use a superscript on the sum number. Current solution is to convert the result to text and added a superscripted number (say 1-4) - I'm looking for a more elegant solution where say I add the text (superscripted) to the cell after the sum, but keep the numeric formatting and the sum formula - Like Sum(H2:h5)&"1"


2016-03-07 04:21:23

Shailendra

how to add the superscript of x
how to add the subscript of x.


2015-03-13 10:22:48

sugumar

how to add the superscript of 4.
for moment of inertia the unit is mm^4


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.