HTTA is reader supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

5 Best Ways to Type Exponents/Superscripts on Google Docs (With Shortcuts)

A superscript character (or characters) is one that is half the height of a normal character and is printed higher than the rest of the text. A superscript in math is called an exponent.

In today’s article, you’ll learn techniques and keyboard shortcuts to insert or type any Exponents/Superscripts on Google Docs.

These actionable steps below will show you everything you need to know.

Without any further ado, let’s get started.

How to type Exponents/Superscripts on Google Docs

Google Docs provides several methods for inserting or typing Superscripts or Exponents into your document.

In this section, I will make available for you several different methods you can use to type or insert this and any other symbol on Google Docs.

Let’s get into it.

Method 1: Using the Superscript Keyboard Shortcut in Google Docs

The keyboard shortcut for superscript in Google Docs is [Ctrl] + [.] (Control + Period).

To type superscripts or exponents on Google Docs with a shortcut, press and hold the Ctrl key, then press and release the period key to switch the pointer to superscript mode. Now type the value for the superscript or exponent and press the same shortcut ([Ctrl] + [.]) to switch back to normal.

This method is, so far, the simplest way to type exponents and superscripts on Google docs.

However, keep reading to explore more interesting options.

Method 2: Using the Equation tool to type Exponents in Google docs

If you need to type exponents in google docs, using the equation tool is another simple method. This tool can help you type any exponent into your Google docs.

The equation tool is simply a feature in Google docs that contains a gallery of built-in math structures or templates from which you can point and click to insert and edit whatever mathematical equation. This library comes with the exponent or superscript template, which you can use to type exponents easily.

Obey the steps below to learn how to use this equation tool in Google docs for typing exponents.

Step 1: Launch the Google docs document where you want to type the exponents.

Step 2: In the document, click to position the text cursor at the desired location.

Step 3: Insert the Equation editor

To do so, go to Insert > Equation.

Insert Equation in Google Docs

This will open the equation editor toolbar and the equation edit box.

The equation toolbar and edit box look like the screenshot below:

Equation Tool bar and Equation Edit box in Google Docs

Step 4: Go to Math Operators > Superscript

Navigate to the Equation toolbar, under Math Operators, and select the Superscript template.

Superscript template in Google Docs

Step 5: Enter the base and superscript values

At this point, you’ll still have an empty equation edit box.

To enter the values, type any number or letter you want to use as the base value. Then click above and after the base value to type the value for the exponent.

Typing Exponents in Google Docs using the Equation tool

And there you have it.

Method 3: Insert Exponents or Superscripts in Google Docs using the ‘Special Characters’ tool (for both Windows and Mac)

NOTE: Unlike method #1, which works for numbers and alphabets, this method works only with numbers. So, this section is for you if you need to insert exponents of numbers.

One of the easy ways you can use to get Exponents or Superscripts in Google Docs is the ‘Special Characters’ tool.

The special characters tool allows Google docs users to insert any symbol into documents, including Exponents and Superscripts, and many other special symbols.

Obey the instructions below to insert Exponents or Superscripts in Google docs using this Special Character’s tool.

  • Open the Google docs where you want to insert the Accent.
  • Go to Insert > Special Characters.
Opening Google Docs Special Characters Tool Window
  • The ‘Special Character’ window will Appear. Search for the word ‘Superscript’ in the search bar.
Search and insert exponents in Google docs
  • After locating the number you wish to insert as an exponent, simply double-click on it to insert it into your Google docs.

These are the steps you may use to insert numbers as Exponents or Superscripts in Google docs.

This process may look tedious for some. That’s why we included the shortcut above.

Method 4: Using the Superscript/Exponent Symbol Alt Code in Google Docs(Windows Only)

NOTE: Unlike the previous methods, this method works for only superscripts 1, 2, and 3. Thus, if you are looking to type any of these three numbers as exponents, you are in luck.

Even though these Symbols have no dedicated keys, you can still type them on the keyboard with the Alt code method.

To type exponent 1, 2, and 3 in Google docs (¹ ² ³), press and hold the Alt key whilst pressing the Exponent Alt code using the numeric keypad. The alt codes for superscripts 1, 2, and 3 are 0185 for ¹, 0178 for ², and 0179 for ³, respectively.

2 Squared symbol alt code on the Windows keyboard
DescriptionExponentAlt Code Shortcut
Superscript 1¹Alt+0185
Superscript 2²Alt+0178
Superscript 3³Alt+0179

This method works on Windows only. And your keyboard must also have a numeric keypad.

Below is a break-down of the steps you can take to type the Exponent 1, 2, and 3 in Google docs using a Windows PC:

  • Place your insertion pointer where you need the Exponent.
  • Press and hold one of the Alt keys on your keyboard.
  • Whilst holding on to the Alt key, press the Exponent alt code (i.e., 0185 for ¹, 0178 for ², and 0179 for ³). You must use the numeric keypad to type the alt code. If you are using a laptop without the numeric keypad, this method may not work for you. On some laptops, there’s a hidden numeric keypad which you can enable by pressing Fn+NmLk on the keyboard.
  • Release the Alt key after typing the Alt code to insert the exponent into your Google document.

This is how you may type this symbol in Google Docs using the Alt Code method.

Method 5: Copy and Paste Superscripts

Another easy way to get the Exponent Symbols on any PC is to use my favorite method: copy and paste.

All you have to do is to copy the symbol from somewhere like a web page, or the character map for windows users, and head over to your Google docs, then hit Ctrl+V to paste.

Below are some exponents for you to copy and paste into your Google document. Just select it and press Ctrl+C to copy, switch over to Google docs, place your insertion pointer at the desired location, and press Ctrl+V to paste.

⁰ ¹ ² ³ ⁴ ⁵ ⁶ ⁷ ⁸ ⁹


As you can see, there are several different methods you can use to type the Superscripts or Exponents in Google docs.

Thank you very much for reading this blog.

If you have anything thing to say or questions to ask concerning the insertion or typing of Exponent/Superscripts in Google docs, please drop it in the comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *