How to Insert Superscript in PowerPoint

Superscript is a text formatting option where characters are set slightly above the normal line of text and appear smaller in size. Using superscript in PowerPoint presentations can make text easier to read, especially when presenting scientific formulas or footnotes.

When to Use Superscript

Here are some common reasons you may want to use superscript in a PowerPoint presentation:

  • Denoting exponents, as in x^2^
  • Adding footnote references
  • Indicating units of measurement in scientific notation, like m^3^
  • Presenting mathematical formulas clearly
  • Adding trademark, copyright, or registered symbols, as in Trademark^TM^

Using superscript sparingly can help emphasize key points and make complex slides easier to digest for your audience.

How to Insert Superscript in PowerPoint

Use the Superscript Button

The easiest way to make text superscript in PowerPoint is using the built-in Superscript button:

  1. Select the text you want to make superscript
  2. On the Home tab, click the Superscript button in the Font group (or press CTRL+SHIFT+= as a keyboard shortcut)
  3. The selected text now appears smaller and slightly raised

Adjust Superscript Position

If the superscript text overlaps with the line below or looks too cramped, you can customize its position:

  1. With the superscript text selected, go to Home > Font Dialog Box Launcher
  2. In the Font dialog box, go to the Advanced tab
  3. Under Position, adjust the percentage Offset value higher to raise the text further or lower to bring it closer to the line below
  4. Select OK

Use the Symbol Insert Menu

Another method is to insert superscript symbols from the Symbol menu:

  1. On the Insert tab, click Symbol
  2. Select the superscript character you want to insert
  3. Click Insert

This method allows you to insert special superscript characters not available as normal keyboard characters.

Superscript Text Formatting Tips

  • Use a smaller font size for superscript text for better legibility
  • Adjust the position carefully so superscript does not overlap descending text
  • Be consistent with your use of superscript formatting in your presentation
  • Avoid overusing superscripts, which can make text difficult to read
  • Manually insert special symbols if needed

Common Uses of Superscript

Superscripts have many useful applications in PowerPoint presentations:

  • Denoting exponential values in mathematical formulas
  • Adding footnote references to provide sources or commentary without interrupting the text flow
  • Indicating units of measurement in scientific data and statistics
  • Presenting chemical formulas clearly
  • Adding trademark, copyright, and registered symbols next to company names, products, or works of art

Used sparingly, superscript can make complex slides easier to understand and add a professional polish to your PowerPoint presentations.

Limitations of Superscript in PowerPoint

While superscript is available across Windows and Mac versions of PowerPoint, there are a couple limitations to be aware of:

  • Not all fonts support superscript characters
  • Positioning of superscript text can be tricky in slides with multiple lines
  • Superscript paragraph text is not available – superscript works for individual words or short phrases only
  • Manual adjustment of size and position may be required for optimal legibility

For these reasons, it’s best to use superscript selectively instead of for large sections of body text.

Alternatives to Superscript

If you find PowerPoint’s built-in superscript option to be limiting, here are a couple alternative options:

  • Use a preformatted superscript font – Some fonts have dedicated superscript and subscript glyphs designed specifically for scientific notation. This avoids potential formatting issues.
  • Insert text boxes – You can create separate text boxes for the superscript characters and position them precisely where needed. This gives you more layout control.


Adding superscript to your PowerPoint slides can make complex information easier to present and help emphasize key details for your audience. Use PowerPoint’s Superscript button on the Home tab or the Symbol insert menu to elevate any text you need – just be sure to adjust sizing and positioning carefully.

Superscript works best when used sparingly and thoughtfully. With the right balance, it can take your PowerPoint presentations to the next level.