No matter how well-drilled you are in the day-to-day functions of Excel, it’s not necessarily all that obvious how to apply subscripts to your text, nor your equations. And yet, doing so can be super handy, whether it’s to signify a particular element in the equation, or give a piece of text special meaning.

To learn how to write equations and text with subscript in Microsoft Excel, follow our tutorial below. For any additional information, or if you have further questions, check out our FAQ section at the bottom of this article.

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## How to write text-based subscript in Excel (method one)

**Open Microsoft Excel**on your device, and**load a test document****Select a cell**and**begin writing the text**, part of which you want to be subscript (write it all out, don’t worry, we’ll apply the subscript formatting in the next step)- Now,
**highlight the part of the text****which needs to be subscripted** - On your keyboard,
**press CTRL+1**(the Format Cells shortcut),**then ALT+B**(the subscript shortcut),**and finally, hit ENTER****Note:**Alternatively you could right-click on the highlighted text, choose ‘Format Cells’ from the menu, and then check off the blank box situated beside ‘Subscript’ and lastly click ‘OK’ on the Format window

## How to write text-based subscript in Excel (method two)

**Open Microsoft Excel**on your device, and**load a test document****Click the downward-pointing arrow**which you’ll find located next to the ‘Redo’ button up in the Quick Access Toolbar. This arrow is called**‘Customize Quick Access Toolbar’**- Scroll down the list until you
**reach ‘More Commands’, and click on this option** - Scroll through the list and
**select ‘Subscript’**. Next,**choose ‘Add’**, and then finally,**click ‘OK’** **Select a cell**and**begin writing the text**, part of which you want to be subscript (write it all out, don’t worry, we’ll apply the subscript formatting in the next step)- Now,
**highlight the part of the text****which needs to be subscripted** - Finally,
**left-click the subscript button**which you have made accessible via the**Quick Access Toolbar**in Steps 3 & 4, and your highlighted text will be formatted as subscript.

## How to write exponents in equations as subscript in Excel

**Open the Microsoft Excel program**on your computer, and then**load a test document****Locate and click ‘Insert’**in the Menu toolbar,**then ‘Symbols’**, and**finally ‘Equation’****Move your new equation box**to your preferred placement in the spreadsheet. Do so**by clicking and dragging it**.- Now,
**select ‘Script’**and**select the subscript exponent you want**to include. Two boxes, one center and the other bottom-right, indicates a ‘normal’ number, and a ‘subscript’ number. - Now, separately
**click each box**in the equation field**and enter the numbers you need to complete your equation’s subscript exponent**. **Repeat as necessary**, adding as much subscript as you need into each part of your equation.

There we go! Simple as that! Whether you’re writing equations with subscript exponents, or wish to make some part of a text-based cell appear in subscript, the process is super simple. Just follow our tutorials above to learn how. For all other information, or if you have more questions, see our FAQs below.

## FAQs

### What is a ‘subscript’ in Excel?

Subscript is when letters or numbers are placed in miniature below the preceding text. For example, here I will change the word ‘Excel’ so that the letters ‘cel’ appear in subscript: Ex_{cel}.

Subscripted letters, words, or numbers may be used to serve any number of functions in daily life, and that is no different when it comes to Microsoft Excel. However, writing subscript in Excel is, in a sense, just for show. Subscript doesn’t actually alter the value of the cell data it is applied to. Even if you write an equation including subscripted exponents, said exponents will not have their actual values altered – it’s all simply to help you and your spreadsheet’s readers to better visualize your meaning.

In other words, if you wrote 45_{6}, to Microsoft Excel, this would still read as ‘456’, instead of ‘45 to the power of 6’.

Because of this, you should be careful when working subscripts into Excel, and always remember that doing so may represent what you want to represent, but won’t change the physical properties of the characters in Excel calculations.

### Why would I want to use superscript in Excel?

Subscript can be used to fulfill any number of objectives in Microsoft Excel, just as you might use it in your daily life. The most obvious reason would be to give clear direction to the reader, indicating that the data they are looking at, or the text, has a specifically enhanced or subtextual meaning, pertaining to the subscript. This may be simply for your own personal benefit or the readers.

On the other hand, subscript may be crucial to the formulating of long, complex equations, in which subscripted numbers hold different values or meanings than do standard ones.

### Can I change superscript back to default if I change my mind?

Yes, absolutely! To standardize any subscripted text, start by highlighting the subscript and repeating the keyboard shortcut you used to apply it in the first place: CTRL+1, then ALT+B, and finally, ENTER.

(Note: This technique only applies to text-based subscripts. To reformat an equation with superscript exponents, first, click on the equation, then on ‘Equation’ in the Menu bar, and lastly, use the tools there to rewrite the equation’s specific exponents – from scratch – without the subscript.)