As a teacher at the university, I often need to write a chemical or mathematical formula in PowerPoint, but access to the ‘Superscript‘ and ‘Subscript‘ functions is a bit tricky. This guide helps you through!
The menu for ‘Superscript‘ and ‘Subscript‘ in PowerPoint takes a few clicks to access. Therefore, I often use keyboard shortcuts. Just select the text you want to make superscript or subscript and use these shortcuts:
Superscript shortcut: ‘Ctrl’ – ‘Shift’ – ‘+’
You should press both ‘Ctrl’, ‘Shift’ and ‘+’ (the plus sign) at the same time for this to work.
Subscript shortcut: ‘Ctrl’ – ‘=’
You should press both ‘Ctrl’ and ‘=’ (the equal sign) at the same time – and (although counterintuitive) you should not press shift.
If you find that the ‘Subscript‘ shortcut does not work, chances are that you are using a non-US keyboard. In this case, you should press the button which is where the equal sign (=) is located on a US keyboard (yes, I know, this is annoying!). In Denmark, the combination to use is:
Danish subscript shortcut: ‘Ctrl’ – ‘+’
Again, you should press both keys simultaneously for the shortcut to work.
In PowerPoint, you can manually format text as superscript or subscript if you do not want to use the keyboard shortcuts. Just follow these steps:
You might need to add a superscript or subscript symbol to your slide, for instance a trademark™ symbol or a symbol for distinguishing between author† affiliations‡ in a scientific manuscript. This can be done with a few clicks in PowerPoint:
You might want to adjust the position of your superscripts and subscripts on your PowerPoint slides, for example if you are using a non-standard font or if you are setting up an infographic. Here’s how:
In some cases, the use of superscript or subscript is necessary, for instance when writing chemical formulas such as H2O, but in many cases it is also simply beneficial for the readability of a text, for instance when writing dates such as the 20th of March 2020. Here’s a few examples of when you can add superscript in PowerPoint presentations:
If you are used to Microsoft Word, you will be familiar with the buttons for formatting text to subscript text or superscript text with just a single click. Unfortunately, these buttons are not directly available in PowerPoint where you need to follow the above steps or use keyboard shortcuts to add superscript (‘ctrl’ – ‘shift’ – ‘+’) or subscript (‘ctrl’ – ‘=’). However, Ampler lets you add the ‘Superscript’ and ‘Subscript’ (and a ton of time-saving functions) to your PowerPoint toolbar to allow easy access to these and any other functions you need. You can download a free trial here:
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