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Google Sheets is a powerful and versatile tool where you can work with all types of data. However, when it comes to formatting text, you may miss some of the basic features of word processors, like the ability to add indentation, bullet points, or subscripts and superscripts. Fortunately, even though there’s no built-in tool for this, there are several ways to do it.

In this guide, you will learn three different ways of adding subscripts and superscripts in Google Sheets. The first method involves copying and pasting from an external source, while the second method involves the use of the CHAR function. However, the third method will speed things up considerably if you need to use subscripts and superscripts frequently, the third method will speed things up considerably. You will learn how to import the Unicode subscript and superscript characters using IMPORTHTML so you can copy and paste them easily.

How to Add Subscript in Google Sheets?

Below, you have two methods for adding subscripts in Google Sheets: copy & paste and the CHAR function.

Insert Subscript with Copy & Paste

Follow the steps below to copy the subscript character and paste it into a cell in Google Sheets. For this example, I will use the Wiktionary Appendix on Unicode subscripts and superscripts.

  1. 1. Go to the website and select the subscript you want to use. In this case, I want to add the subscript ‘x’ to the word ‘total’.
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets Find Subscript Character
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets - Find Subscript Character
  1. 2. Copy the subscript.
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets Copy Subscript
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets - Copy Subscript
  1. 3. In Google Sheets, double-click on the cell where you want to add the subscript and place the cursor where you want it.
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets Edit Cell
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets - Edit Cell
  1. 4. Right-click or use the shortcut to paste: Ctrl + v (Windows) Cmd + v (Mac).
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets Paste Subscript Character
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets - Paste Subscript Character

Insert Subscript with CHAR Function

Follow the steps below to write a formula to concatenate text and subscripts using the ampersand (&) and the CHAR function. You can use the same page as in the previous section to find the code for the superscript character. The decimal code is between parentheses in the first column. The code for lowercase x is 8339.

  1. 1. In an empty cell, type the equal sign. Between quotation marks, type the letter or word that requires the subscript.
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets Equal Sign Word or Letter in Quotes
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets - Equal Sign & Word or Letter in Quotes
  1. 2. Add an ampersand (&), followed by the CHAR function.
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets CHAR Function
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets - CHAR Function
  1. 3. The code you use for the CHAR function depends on which subscript character you want. In this case, a lowercase x has the following decimal code: 8339.
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets 8339 Code
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets - 8339 Code
  1. 4. Close the parenthesis and press ‘Enter’ to see the result.
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets Subscript with CHAR
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets - Subscript with CHAR

How to Add Superscript in Google Sheets?

Below, you have two methods for adding superscripts in Google Sheets: copy & paste and the CHAR function.

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Insert Superscript with Copy & Paste

Follow the steps below to copy the subscript character and paste it into a cell in Google Sheets. For this example, I will use the number 2 superscript. Unfortunately, the superscripts for 1, 2, and 3 are listed on a separate table.

  1. 1. Go to the website and find the superscript you want on the table.
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets Find Superscript Character
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets - Find Superscript Character
  1. 2. In Google Sheets, double-click on the cell where you want to add the superscript and place the cursor where you want it.
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets Copy Superscript
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets - Copy Superscript
  1. 3. Double-click on the cell you want to edit.
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets Edit Cell 2
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets - Edit Cell
  1. 4. Right-click or use the shortcut to paste: Ctrl + v (Windows) Cmd + v (Mac).
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets Paste in Cell
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets - Paste in Cell

Insert Superscript with CHAR Function

Follow the steps below to write a formula to concatenate text and superscripts using the ampersand (&) and the CHAR function.

  1. 1. In an empty cell, type the equal sign. Between quotation marks, type the letter or word that requires the superscript.
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets Equal Sign Word or Letter in Quotes 2
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets - Equal Sign & Word or Letter in Quotes
  1. 2. Add an ampersand (&), followed by the CHAR function.
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets CHAR Function 2
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets - CHAR Function
  1. 3. The code you use for the CHAR function depends on which superscript character you want. In this case, the superscript of the number 2 has the following decimal code: 178.
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets 178 Code
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets - 178 Code
  1. 4. Close the parenthesis and press ‘Enter’ to see the result.
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets Superscript with CHAR
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets - Superscript with CHAR
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Import Unicode Subscripts & Superscripts

If you plan to use subscripts and superscripts frequently, consider importing the main subscript and superscript Unicode characters to make it easier on yourself. Once imported, you can use either of the abovementioned methods without leaving your spreadsheet. I will import the table from the Wiktionary Appendix on Unicode subscripts and superscripts. However, you can use whatever source you prefer.

  1. 1. In separate cells, type the URL and the HTML element.
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets Type URL HTML Element
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets - Type URL & HTML Element
  1. 2. In another cell, type the IMPORTHTML function and select the cell containing the URL.
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets Add IMPORTHTML Select URL
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets - Add IMPORTHTML & Select URL
  1. 3. Add a comma and select the cell containing the HTML element.
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets Select HTML Element
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets - Select HTML Element
  1. 4. Add another comma and type the index of the table you want. In this case, it’s table 2.
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets Add Index Number
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets - Add Index Number
  1. 5. Close the parenthesis and press ‘Enter’ to import the table.
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets Table Imported
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets - Table Imported
  1. 6. Now that you have imported the table, you can easily use the copy & paste method to add subscripts and superscripts in your cells.
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets Copy Character or Use Decimal Code with CHAR
How to Add Subscript and Superscript in Google Sheets - Copy Character or Use Decimal Code with CHAR

Conclusion

Google Sheets doesn’t have a built-in tool to add subscripts and superscripts, but there are several ways to do it. You know how to copy & paste subscripts or superscripts from an external source, like a web page or Google Docs. You also know how to use the CHAR function to add subscripts and superscripts with a formula.

However, if you plan to use them frequently, the third method can save you a lot of time. You can import the Unicode subscript and superscript characters to your spreadsheet using IMPORTHTML, so you can easily add them to your text using copy & paste. If you prefer to use the CHAR function, the imported table also includes the decimal codes.

To learn more about formatting text in Google Sheets, check out our guides on:

Maria Del Olmo
Originally published Mar 16 2023, Updated Jun 26 2023

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