How to Do Subscript in Word

Commands and shortcuts for below-the-line typing

Subscript allows you to type special characters that appear slightly below the current line of text, which can be helpful when depicting certain mathematical and chemical formulas, as well as some other not-so-common uses. Microsoft Word makes it very easy to include subscript text in your documents, which can be achieved by taking the following steps.

How to Subscript in Word

Follow these simple steps to do subscript in Microsoft Word.

  1. Open the document in which you would like to add subscript text, or create a new document.

  2. Type in your text as you would normally, with no special formatting applied. For example, if you'd like to depict a formula that signifies water, type "H2O".

    Sample text for a subscript
  3. Select the specific text you want to appear as subscript so that it is highlighted. In this example, you'd want to select the number "2" in "H2O".

  4. For macOS and Windows devices, select the Subscript button, located in the Font section of Word's main toolbar and represented by the letter 'x' and a depressed number 2.

    Alternatively, use the following keyboard shortcut:

    • Windows: Ctrl + =
    • macOS: Cmd + =
    The Subscript button in Word
  5. Your selected character(s) should now appear in subscript format. Repeat these steps at any time to reverse the subscript formatting.

    Text in Word with a subscript

How to Subscript in Word Online

The steps for creating subscript in Microsoft Word Online are pretty similar with a few small differences:

  1. Open MS Word Online and navigate to which you would like to add subscript text, or create a new document.

  2. Type in your text as you would normally, with no special formatting applied. For example, if you'd like to depict a formula that signifies water, type "H2O".

    Sample text for a subscript in Word Online
  3. Select More Font Options, represented by three horizontally-aligned dots and located between the Clear Formatting and Bullets buttons on Word's main toolbar.

    The More Font Options button in Word Online
  4. When the drop-down menu appears, select Subscript.

    The Subscript command
  5. Your selected character(s) should now appear in subscript format. Repeat these steps at any time to reverse the subscript formatting.

    Sample text with a subscript applied