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How To Add a Google Sheet Subscript: 3 Methods

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Can’t find a way to add a subscript in Google Sheets?

Many users struggle to insert subscripts to their spreadsheets and resort to adding alternatives like underscore.

Google Sheets don’t have a built-in feature to add subscripts, but you can work around it with several methods.

All the methods for subscript text are similar to superscript in cells.

In detailed steps, let’s find out how to add a Google Sheets subscript.

Can You Subscript in Google Sheets?

You can add subscripts in Google Sheets, although the software doesn’t support below-the-line formatting by default. Instead, it requires copying Unicode symbols or applying the CHAR function.

You can also superscript in Google Sheets the same way if and when you need it for your mathematical equation.

What Is the Shortcut for Subscript in Google Sheets?

Unfortunately, there is no shortcut for subscripts in Google Sheets by default.

You can format cells for subscripts using the CHAR function and ASCII codes.

You can also use the special character function or the shortcut key in Google Docs to insert subscripts before copying the formula to your spreadsheet.

What You’ll Need To Add a Google Sheets Subscript

Adding subscripts to a Google Sheets cell requires a few steps, which you can do with the following:

  • Access to a Google Sheets document. The straightforward way to do that is to have a Google account to login and create a spreadsheet.
  • A compatible device for Google Sheets. You can use a computer, smartphone, or Chromebook to use Google Sheets.
  • A web browser with an internet connection. You will need to search for the Unicode or the ASCII code of a corresponding subscript digit or character online.
  • A third-party subscript generator. You can easily create subscripts using a third-party subscript generator before copying and pasting them to Google Sheets.

How To Add a Google Sheets Subscript: Step-by-Step Instructions

Unlike MS Excel, Google Sheets don’t have a built-in function to format cells with subscripts.

However, you can still insert subscripts in several ways, and using a smaller font isn’t one of them.

Make sure to open or create a spreadsheet after logging in to Google Sheets using your Google account.

Method 1: Copying Unicode Symbols to Subscript in Google Sheets

An easy way to add subscripts to Google Sheets is by copying the Unicode symbols.

You will find Unicode symbols for most available characters online, including on Wikipedia.

Screenshot 2023 02 08 at 8.04.14 PM

For example, if you want to write the molecular formula of Carbon dioxide (CO2), write down CO in the designated cell.

Next, find the Unicode symbol of subscript 2 before copying and pasting it to the designated cell.

Several subscript values require repeating the process with multiple Unicode symbols.

Screenshot 2023 02 08 at 6.16.28 PM

Pro Tip: You can also create the subscript in Google Docs using a special character or the Ctrl/ Cmd + Comma (,) shortcut before copying it to format cells in Google Sheets.

Method 2: Using the CHAR() Function to Subscript in Google Sheets

The CHAR() function creates a decimal value for a particular character. It is built into Google Sheets.

You will need the specific ASCII code for a particular subscript character, which you can find online.

There are subscript ASCII codes for numbers (0-9), some alphabets, and basic mathematical equations (+, -, =).

First, search for the corresponding ASCII code for the subscript number or alphabet and copy it to your clipboard.

Ensure it’s the subscript code you are copying, which is the number in the ALT code (next to ALT +).

Screenshot 2023 02 08 at 5.01.28 PM

Type in the CHAR function: =CHAR() in a Google Sheets cell and paste the ASCII code within the brackets.

Hit the “Enter” button on your keyboard and get the subscript symbol.

To insert a subscript within a chemical formula like laughing gas (N2O), you must input the following:

="N"&CHAR(8322)&"O"

If you have multiple subscript characters, you must input the CHAR() function for each specific subscript value, adjoining them with “&”.

For example, if you need to type in the molecular formula of Glucose (C6H12O6), your inputs must be the following:

="C"&CHAR(8326)&"H"&CHAR(8321)&CHAR(8322)&"O"&CHAR(8326)

Method 3: Using a Third-Party Generator to Subscript in Google Sheets

Various third-party subscript generators are available online for free. You can find them by conducting a Google search.

Click on the link to access the tool. I use the Subscript Generator by LingoJam.

Enter the digit or character you need to subscript on the left-sided box; the subscript character will be generated on the right.

For example, the molecular formula of Sugar is C12H22O11, which needs the subscript symbol for 12, 22, and 11.

Simply type the digits on the left panel. Use a space to separate them or hit enter to create a new line.

Finally, copy the corresponding value from the subscript generator’s right panel and paste it into your cell.

Screenshot 2023 02 08 at 6.40.23 PM

Similar Tutorials To Check Out

Feeling confident about using Google Sheets? Let’s check out some similar tutorials for Google Docs:

Wrapping Up

Whether it’s a mathematical formula or a molecular formula in chemistry, you may need to add subscripts in Google Sheets.

There is no built-in feature, but you can use the methods in my tutorial to add or insert subscripts to your spreadsheets.

Please comment if you need further help with any of the methods. I also appreciate constructive criticisms and feedback.

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