How to superscript in Google Sheets

Adding superscript in Google Sheets is not as simple as it is in Google Docs. Still, there are a couple of workarounds to do it.

In this article we will explore two ways to superscript in Sheets. The first is pretty simple and just involves copying and pasting. The second uses the CHAR function along with Unicode numbers to return the desired character.

We will also explore a couple of cases where superscripting may come in handy.

Spreadsheets are just the start

What is superscript?

Superscript text is positioned higher than the baseline of the surrounding characters, often appearing at the top-right of a character. It is commonly used to denote exponents, footnotes, or ordinal numbers.

how to superscript in google sheets 1

Two ways to superscript in Google Sheets

Let’s go over the two methods to add superscript text in Google Sheets. Both of them have reference characters and codes. It’s a good idea to bookmark this post if you do this often 😉.

Copy superscript characters

The first method is super straightforward: just copy the desired character from the table below and paste it into your spreadsheet.

This approach is useful if you do this sporadically, as it involves finding the symbol you want to use first.

Superscript characters
Numbers Letters Symbols
ͮ
¹ ˡ ʷ
² ͫ ˣ
³ ͩ ʸ
ͤ ͦ
°
ͬ
ͪ ˢ
ͥ ͭ
ʲ ͧ

 

Use the CHAR function

The CHAR function takes only one argument, a unicode number, and returns the corresponding character.

=CHAR(unicode_number)

All you have to do is insert the correct number from the tables below to get the character you want.

Superscript characters and unicode numbers
Numbers Symbols
Character Code Character Code
8304 8314
¹ 185 8315
² 178 8316
³ 179 8317
8308 8318
8309 ° 176
8310
8311
8312
8313

 

Superscript characters and unicode numbers
Letters
Character Code Character Code Character Code
7491 ʲ 690 ͭ 877
7495 7503 ͧ 871
7580 ˡ 737 ͮ 878
ͩ 873 ͫ 875 ʷ 695
ͤ 868 8319 ˣ 739
7584 ͦ 870 ʸ 696
7501 7510 7611
ͪ 874 ͬ 876
ͥ 869 ˢ 738

After you get the character you can erase 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 some of these characters often. If that’s the case, you could jot them down or commit them to memory. That way they are always close at hand.

Common uses of superscripting

If you are left wondering where you might need to superscript, below are a few common examples. 

How to add the degree symbol in Google Sheets

The only thing to keep in mind is not to mix up the number “0”,  the letter “o” and the symbol “°”. Still, if you use the incorrect symbol chances are no one will know.

Let’s say you have temperatures in one column but without the corresponding symbol, and you want to add it. You have two options ahead of you.

The first way is to use the CONCAT function to concatenate the two values.

=CONCAT(A1, “°C”)

The second way to achieve this is to use the “&” operator to join the value in an existing cell and the symbol (“°C” or “°F”). With this method you can perform calculations before joining the values. Among other thighs, this would let you convert celsius into fahrenheit before adding the symbol

=(9/5 * A1 + 32)  & “°F”

How to add footnotes in Google Sheets

If you want to add footnotes to a cell in Google Sheets, all you have to do is copy and paste superscript numbers. This may come in handy to reference a legend or cite sources of information in your spreadsheets.

⁰ ¹ ² ³ ⁴ ⁵ ⁶ ⁷ ⁸ ⁹

How to do exponents in Google Sheets

Again, the simple methods covered above serve many purposes, among them you can use superscript to show an exponent in google sheets. Just copy and paste the characters below.

⁰ ¹ ² ³ ⁴ ⁵ ⁶ ⁷ ⁸ ⁹

Note that this method is only used to symbolize an exponent. If you want to calculate it you have to use the “^” operator. For example, 2 to the power of 3 could be shown as “2³” or you could calculate it using the formula below.

= 2 ^ 3

It’s a font, it’s a style… it’s superscripting!

Now you know two ways to superscript in Google Sheets. We even covered some cases where this knowledge may come in handy. Surely there are many more applications than we imagined.

If you want to get the full character list for subscripting, check out How to subscript in Google Sheets.

Ready to streamline your spreadsheet data?

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