When to Use Superscript and Subscript in Your Writing


While there are different types of fonts, styles and formats of texts that are used nowadays. Superscript and subscript is one example. People use it a lot but do not know exactly what they are and how they can use it in their everyday text. Well, if you are one of them, read on as we have crafted this article to help you understand what superscript and subscript is and where you should use them.

These texts can be generated in two main ways. Either you use an automated tool like any small text generator to convert your text or you do it manually using different steps depending on the application or software you are using. For instance, in Microsoft Word, you will see x2 and x2 symbols in the toolbar that allows you to convert your text into superscript or subscript. You can also try smalltext.org to help you out. 

What Is Superscript?

Superscript is a type of text you will see slightly above your regular text line and it is used in many different areas. 

Common uses for superscript formatting include:

  • Copyright and trademark symbols (e.g., ©, TM, ®)
  • Mathematical functions 
  • Chemical symbols 
  • Footnote and endnote 
  • Ordinal numerals (e.g., 1st, 2nd, 3rd )

Some of these are explained below: 

Copyright and Trademark Symbols

You might have come across some symbols that are used by most reputable companies. There are different symbols used like registered trademark (®), copyright (©), trademark (TM), and similar others are used often and are formatted as superscripts. 

Also, a pro tip is that if you are writing a copyrighted or trademarked name that requires such symbols, you are obliged to write for the first time only. As if you do it multiple times, it can leave a document cluttered. 

Mathematics and Science

The superscript format is used commonly in science and maths. A common example is to show an exponent or power number. Also, you can use it for derivatives. It has some special uses as well like specifically in chemistry to write out chemical symbols like ionic charges or mass numbers. However, they aren’t used commonly in our day-to-day writing, so if you have to deal with this particular subject, you will need it often otherwise these might not come in handy. 

What Is Subscript? And When Should You Use It?

Subscript is like the opposite of superscript, it is used below the regular text line. As far as the usage is concerned, these aren’t used so commonly in writing but still, they are important and used in chemical formulae like to show the number of atoms in a chemical compound.

For instance: 

The chemical formula of water is H2O and the two in between H and O tells us that there are two hydrogens and one oxygen atom present in a molecule of water.

As compared to superscript, subscript also has several uses in mathematics and science subjects. However, you won’t come across subscript writing in everyday writing unless you are associated with some field or subject where it is used often. 

How to generate superscript and subscript

Superscript and subscript are used in different areas like in academic writing. Every writing software supports super and subscript, but every software has different required steps that need to be done if the user wants to add superscript or subscript for instance if you want to use it in Google docs, you will have to use the CHAR () function and add the special Unicode in between the brackets to get the character you want. 

However, there is an easy way too i.e. use a small text generator. A lot of websites offer a specialized tool that can create small text, superscript and subscript in seconds. Use it whenever in need. 


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