How to Make an Exponent in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Learning how to make an exponent in Word is a quick and simple task that can make your documents look more professional. All you need to do is select the number you want to turn into an exponent and use a couple of clicks or keystrokes to get it done. It’s that easy! Let’s dive in and break down the steps to transform your regular text into scientific notation or mathematical expressions.

How to Make an Exponent in Word

In this section, we’ll go through the step-by-step process of making an exponent in Word. These simple steps will guide you through the process, from selecting the text to applying the formatting.

Step 1: Open your Word document

Start by opening the Microsoft Word document where you want to add an exponent.

It’s always best to have your document ready to go. If you haven’t created one yet, just open Word and start a new document.

Step 2: Type the base number

Type the number or text that will serve as the base for your exponent.

This base number is the number that you want to raise to a power, such as the "2" in "2^3".

Step 3: Highlight the exponent number

Select the number or text you want to make into an exponent.

Highlighting the text means clicking and dragging your mouse over the text, or you can use the Shift key and arrow keys to select it.

Step 4: Open the Font menu

Go to the "Home" tab on the Ribbon and click on the small arrow in the bottom right corner of the Font section.

This Font menu gives you a bunch of options to change the appearance of your text, including making it superscript.

Step 5: Click on Superscript

In the Font menu, check the box next to "Superscript" and then click "OK".

Once you check this box and hit "OK", your selected text will shrink and move above the baseline, making it look like an exponent.

After you complete these steps, your selected text should now appear as an exponent. This is useful for writing mathematical equations, chemical formulas, or any text that requires superscript formatting.

Tips for Making an Exponent in Word

  1. Keyboard Shortcut: Use Ctrl + Shift + = to quickly apply superscript formatting to the highlighted text.
  2. Ribbon Shortcut: You can also find the Superscript button directly on the Ribbon under the "Home" tab.
  3. Undo Superscript: To remove superscript formatting, highlight the exponent and press Ctrl + Shift + = again.
  4. Font Size: Adjust the font size if your exponent appears too small or too large.
  5. Equation Editor: Use the Equation Editor for more complex mathematical expressions by going to Insert > Equation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make an exponent on a Mac in Word?

On a Mac, you can use Command + Shift + = to apply superscript formatting.

Can I make an exponent in Word Online?

Yes, you can make an exponent in Word Online by highlighting the text and selecting the "Superscript" button in the toolbar.

What if my exponent looks too small?

If the exponent looks too small, you can adjust the font size manually by highlighting it and changing the font size in the Font menu.

Can I use exponents in footnotes?

Yes, you can use exponents in footnotes just like anywhere else in the document by applying superscript formatting.

Is there a shortcut for subscript as well?

Yes, you can use Ctrl + = for subscript formatting on a PC, and Command + = on a Mac.


  1. Open your Word document.
  2. Type the base number.
  3. Highlight the exponent number.
  4. Open the Font menu.
  5. Click on Superscript.


Now that you know how to make an exponent in Word, your documents can look even more polished and professional. Whether you’re crafting a scientific paper, working on a math assignment, or just want to show off your formatting skills, mastering this little trick can go a long way.

Feel free to explore other formatting options in Word to further enhance your documents. With these skills under your belt, you’re well on your way to becoming a Word wizard. Happy formatting!