Properly formatting text is an important element in creating a document that is informative and easy for your readers to consume. Some of these formatting options are easy to find and use in Google Docs, while others might be a little trickier. One formatting task that you may be curious about is how to subscript in Google Docs.
Google Docs provides many of the formatting options that you may need to apply to the content in your document, and one of those is called “subscript”. Text with subscript formatting will appear “below” your other text, as its center line is lowered relative to normal text.
While certain formatting options like bold, italics, and underline are easily found in the toolbar above the document, other options, like subscript, may not be as easy to locate.
Fortunately there are a number of additional text formatting options in the “Format” menu at the top of the window. Our guide below is going to show you how to use this menu so that you can apply subscript formatting to some of the text in your document.
How to Do Subscript in Google Docs
- Open your Google Doc.
- Select the text to switch to subscript.
- Click Format.
- Choose Text, then Subscript.
Our guide continues below with additional information on adding subscript in Google Docs, including pictures of these steps.
How to Subscript in Google Docs (Guide with Pictures)
The steps in this tutorial were performed in the desktop version of the Google Chrome Web browser, but will also work in other desktop browsers like Firefox or Microsoft Edge.
Use the steps below to add subscript in a Google Docs document.
- Sign into Google Drive and open a Docs file.
Go to https://drive.google.com to view your Google drive files directly.
- Select text to switch to subscript, or place your cursor where you wish to add subscript text.
You can select text by placing your cursor next to it, then holding and dragging to select the desired text.
- Click the “Format” tab at the top of the window.
It’s between the “Insert” tab and the “Tools” tab.
- Choose the “Text” option, then click the “Subscript” option.
Alternatively you can use the keyboard shortcut of “Ctrl + ,” to apply subscript formatting as well.
The steps above outline how to use subscript in Google Docs by either selecting existing text that you wish to turn into subscript, or by clicking at the point in the document where you wish to start typing subscript text. While this method uses the “Format” menu, there is another way to apply subscript in your document.
Method 2 – How to Create Subscript Text in Google Docs
While the first method in this article focuses on using subscript as a formatting option, you can also insert text as subscript instead.
Step 1: Open your document.
Step 2: Choose where in the document you wish to add the subscript text.
Step 3: Click Insert.
Step 4: Select Special characters.
Step 5: Click the Arrows button and choose the Subscript option.
Step 6: Choose the subscript character to insert.
Our article continues below with some additional questions that you might have about subscript.
Frequently Asked Questions About Google Docs Subscript
You can exit “subscript mode” in Google Docs by moving your cursor to other, regular, existing text in the document, or by going to Format > Text and clicking Subscript again.
The superscript option in Google Docs is found on the same menu as the subscript option. Go to Format > Text and click Superscript. You can also use the keyboard shortcut of Ctrl + . to switch to superscript mode.
You can remove subscript formatting in Google Docs by highlighting the subscript text with your mouse, then going to Format > Text and clicking the Subscript option again.
While clear formatting won’t work to remove subscript that has been applied to text, it can remove other formatting. You can find the Clear formatting button at the right end of the toolbar above the document. The button looks like a T with a diagonal slash through it.
Yes, you can change the font size of subscript text the same way that you change the size of regular text. Use your mouse to select it, then click the plus or minus symbol next to the font size to increase or decrease it.
You can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + , to apply subscript formatting to selected text, or to switch you text entry mode to subscript. The same keyboard shortcut can be used to exit subscript mode, or to switch subscript text back to regular text.
More Information on How to Use Superscript or Subscript in Google Docs
If you are trying to use subscript or superscript in Google Docs, the method is essentially the same, and both of the methods that we have discussed in our tutorial above will apply. The only difference between superscript and subscript is how they look in the document. Creating or formatting either of them is effectively the same.
As we mentioned above, the keyboard shortcuts for superscript and subscript are Ctrl + . and Ctrl + , respectively. You can use these keyboard shortcuts if you press Ctrl on your keyboard and hold it down, then press the other key at the same time.
The special characters menu that you use in the second method above has a lot of other useful characters that you might need to add to a document, especially if you are working on things like chemical formulas or mathematical equations, where the ability to add subscript is necessary. These extra special characters includes things like a copyright symbol, math characters, musical notes, and much more.
While I typically prefer using the Format method in the menu bar to apply superscript or subscript to a document, the extra items found via the special characters window on the Insert menu can make it more appealing for some users.
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Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech tutorials since 2008. His writing has appeared on dozens of different websites and been read over 50 million times.
After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science he spent several years working in IT management for small businesses. However, he now works full time writing content online and creating websites.
His main writing topics include iPhones, Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Android, and Photoshop, but he has also written about many other tech topics as well.
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