How to subscript in Google Sheets

Google Sheets doesn’t have a feature to add subscript text easily like in Google Docs. However, it is possible to achieve this and we will cover two ways to add subscript in Google Sheets.

The first method is straightforward, all you have to do is copy and paste. For the second you will need to use the CHAR function and Unicode numbers to get the desired character.

By the end, we will go over a few instances in which you might need to add subscript text.

Spreadsheets are just the start

What is subscript text?

Subscript text is positioned lower than the baseline of the surrounding characters, typically appearing at the bottom-right of a character. This formatting is commonly used to denote indices, subscripts, or coefficients in scientific or mathematical notation.

Read on to find out how to make small numbers in Google Sheets.

how to subscript in google sheets 1

Two methods to subscript in Google Sheets

We will cover two ways to insert subscript text in Google Sheets. Both of these procedures rely on the character lists provided in the tables below, so keep them handy!

Copy subscript characters

This first method is as simple as it gets: just copy the character you want from the list and paste it into a cell in your spreadsheet.

Unfortunately, not all letters have a matching subscript version. That’s why the table below includes some letters, and not the complete alphabet. 

Subscript characters
Numbers Letters Symbols

If you do this often it can become quite time consuming to go back and forth to copy and paste. In that scenario, the second method shines.

Use the CHAR function

The CHAR formula needs only one piece of information: the unicode number of the character you want.

=CHAR(unicode_number)

Just insert the correct number from the tables below, and the formula will return the selected character.

Subscript characters and unicode numbers

Numbers

Symbols

8320

8330

8321

8331

8322

8332

8323

8333

8324

8334

8325

8326

8327

8328

8329

 

Subscript characters and unicode numbers

Letters

Character

Code

Character

Code

8336

8338

8337

8346

8341

7523

7522

8347

11388

8348

8342

7524

8343

7525

8344

8339

8345

7527

After you get the character you can remove the formula by copying the result and pasting values only (Right click a cell > Paste special > Values only).

This method is particularly useful if you use these subscript characters frequently. If that’s the case, you could write the codes down or memorize them. This ensures that they will always be handy.

Subscripting uses

In this section we will cover some common uses of subscripting, as well as its importance in various fields.

Subscripting for chemical formulas in Google Sheets

Subscripting is key to display chemical formulas accurately; it allows you to include the number of atoms of each element. For example, “H₂O” represents water, with the “2” subscripted to indicate two hydrogen atoms.

Add subscript for mathematical notation in Google Sheets

Subscripting is also valuable for mathematical notation; you can use it for indices, subscripts, or coefficients in equations and formulas.

For instance, in the equation “a₁x + a₂y = b,” the subscripts “1” and “2” indicate coefficients associated with variables x and y, respectively.

That’s how to insert subscript in Sheets

Now you know two different ways to add subscript text to your spreadsheets. We even covered cases where this knowledge would be fundamental.

The procedure to add superscript is exactly the same. For a set of characters specific for that purpose, check out How to superscript in Google Sheets.

Ready to streamline your spreadsheet data?

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