Inserting and Formatting Exponents in Word

Use symbols rather than markup to highlight the exponents in your equations

Young boy writes math equations on chalkboard

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Microsoft Word supports the insertion exponents in a few different ways. Insert them as symbols, as formatted text using the Font tools, or through the Equation Editor.

These instructions apply to all versions of Microsoft Word.

Using Font Tools to Insert Exponents

From the Font group of the Home menu, use the Superscript button to force highlighted characters to appear as superscripts relative to the baseline size and position of the text.

This method offers the simplest solution.

Using Symbols to Insert Exponents

Insert symbols

Select the Symbol tab from the Insert menu. Select Symbols then choose More Symbols to reveal a popup menu.

Choose the exponent’s font. Most of the time, it will just be the same as the rest of your numbers and text, which means you can simply leave it as normal text. If you do want the exponent’s font to be different, however, select an alternative font from the drop-down menu. When you've found the intended symbol in the intended font, select Insert. Press Cancel to close the Symbol box.

Every font does not include superscripts. Choose a font for your exponent that does.

Using the Equation Editor to Insert Exponents

Equation editor in word

This method is suitable only for Microsoft Word 2007 and later. The placement of the Equation Editor may differ by version; if you can't find it in the Symbol group, try inserting an object and selecting an Equation Editor object type.

From the Insert menu, in the Symbols group, select Equation. Word inserts a placeholder for the equation at the cursor and reconfigures the Ribbon to display the Equation Editor toolkit.

Select the Script button to reveal a fly-out menu. Choose a superscript method from the list.