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 mathematical and chemical formulas, as well as other not-so-common uses. Microsoft Word makes it easy to include subscript text in your documents, which can be achieved by taking the following steps.

How to Subscript in Word

Follow these 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 the text as you would normally, with no special formatting applied. For example, to depict a formula that signifies water, type H2O.

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

  4. Go to the Home tab and, in the Font group, select Subscript, represented by the letter x and a depressed number 2.

    Alternatively, use a keyboard shortcut. In Windows, press Ctrl+= (equal sign). In macOS, press Cmd+=.

    The Subscript button in Word
  5. The selected characters 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 similar with a few small differences:

  1. Open MS Word Online and navigate to the document in which you want to add subscript text or create a new document.

  2. Type the text as you would normally, with no special formatting applied. For example, 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 the main toolbar.

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

    The Subscript command
  5. The selected characters appear in subscript format. Repeat these steps at any time to reverse the subscript formatting.

    Sample text with a subscript applied
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