When you are typing a document, there are times when you will have to type an exponent as per your requirement. An exponent is a mathematical expression whereby you raise a certain value to a power of a variable or number.
The use of exponents is quite common in typing business documents, mathematical papers as well as scientific journals. But how to type an exponent on a computer while preparing your document?
You must have figured out that no keyboard comes with a shortcut to type an exponent symbol instantly. That is why you will need to know the correct key combination that you can use on the word processor you are using to type your document.
Exponents are commonly referred to as superscripts in word processing applications. In this article, we will illustrate how to type an exponent symbol on a computer in simple steps.
How To Type Exponents On A Computer?
There are several methods available by which you can type an exponent symbol on your document. We are providing all the possible methods and you can choose anyone based on your preference.
1. Using the Exponent Symbol Alt Keyboard Code (Windows Only)
Since keyboards do not have ready-made shortcut keys to type exponents, Windows has come up with Alt Code. You have to press the ALT key on your keyboard and type certain numeric keys in succession to get the required exponent symbol.
For example, if you want to type X² (2 raised to the power of X), you have to press and hold the ALT key and type 0178 on the numeric keypad. Therefore, ALT+0178 is the Alt code for the type an exponent symbol of 2. Here is the complete list of ALT codes for different exponent symbols.
You have to type these ALT codes exactly in the order we have mentioned. For example, to type Superscript 0 or Exponent 0, you have to type 2070 on MS Word and then press and hold the ALT key and type X to change it to exponent 0. You can use this list of key combinations of ALT code to type an exponent symbols as per your requirements.
Points To Note:
- You have to type the numbers in the shortcut from the numeric keypad of your keyboard which is generally located on the right side of the keyboard.
- If you type the numbers from the numeric keys located above the alphabet keys, the alt code won’t work.
- If you are using laptops, you have to hold the Function key along with the ALT key for the key combination to work.
- These alt codes will only work on Windows and that too with regular word processing applications such as Notepad, Wordpad, and Microsoft Office.
2. Using the Exponent Symbol Shortcut Superscript (Mac Only)
The ALT code we have mentioned in the previous section will not work on Mac. However, considering the problem users face to type exponents, Apple has come up with a method that makes typing exponent symbols very easy on Mac.
You have to first type the number that you want to raise to the power and press Control-Command-Shift-+ all of them together.
For example, if you want to type X² (2 raised to the power of X), you have to type “X2” and make sure that the mouse cursor is blinking at the end of 2. Thereafter, you have to press Control-Command-Shift-+ keys together and you will find 2 going to the power of X immediately.
Therefore, there are no separate keys to use for different exponents. You can raise any number or alphabet using the same method we have mentioned on your Mac.
3. How To Type An Exponent On A Computer Using Copy and Paste Method
The easiest way to type any exponent on a computer on any software is by copying the exponent symbols from the internet or any document and pasting it wherever you need to. You do not need to memorize any ALT code or press multiple key combinations to get the desired exponent symbols.
From The Internet – If you have an internet connection, you can just search for the exponent expression and copy it directly. For example, you can go to Google and search “exponent symbol 3” and it will show you superscript 3.
Just select and copy the superscript using Ctrl+C and paste it on your document wherever you need it by pressing Ctrl+V.
From Software – If you do not have an active internet connection, you can use Character Map app on Microsoft Windows to copy the character you need.
1. Go to Start menu and search for Character Map app.
2. Open the app and you will find superscripts 2 and 3 which are mostly used.
3. Click on Advanced View and search for “superscript” and press Enter key.
4. Select the required superscript and click on Select button.
5. From Character To Copy, select the subscript and press Ctrl+C to copy it.
6. Go to your document where you want to paste it and press Ctrl+V.
For Mac users, you can check Character Viewer app and search for superscript to copy and paste the text symbol on your document.
4. How To Type Exponents In Microsoft Office (Word or Excel) By Inserting Symbols?
If you are using Microsoft Office applications such as Word or Excel, you can get exponents directly from its symbol library. Here are the steps to insert any exponent symbol on Microsoft Office applications.
1. Place the mouse cursor on the document where you want to insert the subscript.
2. Go to Insert tab and click on Symbols option.
3. From Subset, go to Superscripts and Subscripts.
4. Select the superscript you want to insert and click on Insert button.