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Subscript & Superscript


July 18, 2017 - by Bill Jelen

Subscript & Superscript

Superscript and subscripts in Excel! Finally, in 2017, Microsoft gave us faster ways to create superscripts and subscripts in Excel.

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  • Superscript and Subscripts were hard to do in Excel
  • June 2017, in response to customer votes on Excel.UserVoice.com
  • there are now two items you can add to your Quick Access Toolbar

Video Transcript

Learn Excel From MrExcel, Podcast Episode 2112: Superscript And Subscript.

Hey. Welcome back to the MrExcel netcast. I'm Bill Jelen. Wow. This is a cool one. excel.uservoice.com. There was [unintelligible – 00:13] add icons for the font superscript and subscript so we can put them on the quick access toolbar. 372 votes before this happened. It was a hassle, right, because if you wanted to superscript or subscript something, you had to select those cells or select those characters, go into FONT, and then choose SUBSCRIPT, like that, so a couple of extra clicks, and starting in June, if you have Office 365, they've given us two new quick access toolbar icons.

Now, if you happened to see yesterday's episode, yesterday's episode 2111, there is currently a bug with the quick access toolbar. I have an update for that. CUSTOMIZE QUICK ACCESS TOOLBAR. You have to go to COMMANDS NOT IN THE RIBBON and scroll down to the Ss, but you see that this is broken. This is broken. They know about it and it should be fixed within a couple of days or two, but here is the beautiful workaround.

Even though it's not populating here, the icons are still there. So, what we have to do is come out to this thing called TELL ME. TELL ME. I'm sure there was an episode here where I just complained about how miserable TELL ME was, but it turns out that if you type SUPERSCRIPT -- there it is -- you can right click and ADD TO QUICK ACCESS TOOLBAR. Bam, and then SUBSCRIPT, right click, and ADD TO QUICK ACCESS TOOLBAR.

After, let's say, July 21st, you won't have to do that because it'll be back in the quick access toolbar dialog. You can just go into Excel options and everything is great, but, alright, so, let’s see how much easier it is to do this.

Let's say that we wanted to do the H2O. So, I have H2O like that. I’m going to press F2 to leave me in edit mode, left arrow, SHIFT+LEFT ARROW to select the 2, select the SUBSCRIPT. Bam. That's cool. Alright. Let's try 3 raised to the 2. So, 3, 2, press the F2 key, hold down SHIFT, LEFT ARROW key to select the 2, and press SUPERSCRIPT, and it didn't work. Why didn’t it work? Because I was not entering text, I entered a number and, apparently, you can't format just one of the characters in a number. You have to have it be text. So, let's try again. We're going to do ‘ to say, hey, this is a text cell. 3, 2, F2, left, hold down the SHIFT key, press the LEFT ARROW key, and then hit the SUPERSCRIPT, like that, bam, cool. Alright.

I never used subscripts and superscripts ever, so this does not matter to me one bit, but my friends who are engineers who have to create superscripts and subscripts all the time love this feature, and that's awesome. I'm glad that 372 people voted and I'm glad that Microsoft put it in for them.

If you have a feature that you desperately want in Excel, go out to excel.uservoice.com, choose Excel for Windows, write it up and then get your co-workers to start to vote. The statistic that I heard, this great statistic, out of all the 1000s of votes, so far in the first half of 2017, they've covered 20% of those votes. Based on a vote basis, right? So, by doing this one thing, they said, alright, we made 372 people happy. So, the whole key to excel.uservoice.com is getting a lot of votes.

Alright. So, there you are. Power Excel With MrExcel, newly updated for all kinds of great tips and tricks in Excel. Click that i on the top right-hand corner to check it out.

So, today's episode: superscript and subscripts; hard to do in Excel; in June 2017, in response to customer votes on excel.uservoice.com, two new items you can add to the quick access toolbar; and, again, an update to yesterday's 2111, which I'm going to make unlisted now, that we know what the problem is; the quick access toolbar customization should be fixed here within a week; but, in the meantime, you can get something in using the TELL ME box if you needed to add it to the quick access toolbar.

Alright. Well, hey. I want to thank you for stopping by. We'll see you next time for another netcast from MrExcel.

Download File

Download the sample file here: Podcast2112.xlsm

Title Photo: lonke / Pixabay


Bill Jelen is the author / co-author of
Excel Subtotals Straight to the Point

I used to use the Subtotals feature daily after downloading mainframe data. This book covers every tip and trick for using Subtotals.