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Powers or exponents are numbers or variables (letters) written higher to show how many times a number is exponential or multiplied by itself (5 to 3 means to multiply 5 by itself 3 times, or 5 x 5 x 5 = 125). There are several ways to add exponents in Microsoft Word: as symbols, as formatted text with the Font dialog box, or with the Equation Editor function. Follow the instructions below to understand the usage of each method.

## Steps

### Add exponent as symbol

**Opens the Symbp (Symbol) dialog box.**Word allows you to insert special symbols into text through this dialog box. How to open the Symbp dialog box depends on the version of Word you are using.

- With Word 2007 and later, the ribbon interface is used. Click the Symbp button (which is symbolized by the Greek letter Omega) in the Symbp section of the Insert ribbon tab. To display the Symbp dialog box, select “More Symbps” at the bottom of the frequently used symbols menu that opens.
- For Word 2003 and earlier, select “Symbp” from the “Insert” menu.

**Select the font you want to use to display the exponent.**In most cases, you should use the same font style as the rest of your text. There is no need to adjust the “(normal text)” setting in the Font drop-down menu. If you want to use a different font, click the down arrow button to the right of the drop-down menu and select the font you want from the list.

- Note that not all fonts have numbers or letters written higher. If the font being used for the main text does not support exponential writing, you will have to choose another font that supports this function.

**Select the exponent that you want to display.**You can scroll to the exponent by scrolling the bar to the right of the symbol display, or select one of the following options from the drop-down submenu: “Latin-1 Supplement” – Latin-1 Supplement (or simply “Latin-1”) or “Superscripts and Subscripts”. The available arithmetic exponents are “1”, “2”, “3” and the letter “n”, representing the power variable. Click on the higher written character to select it.

**Insert exponents into your text.**Click the Insert button located at the bottom of the Symbp dialog box to close the dialog box and insert the exponent in the text at the cursor position.

- With Word 2007 and later, once selected, the exponent will appear on the Recently Used Symbps display at the bottom of the Symbps dialog page. If you want to reuse it, you can select it from this location.
- You can also insert exponents using keyboard shortcuts. When an exponent is selected, the Symbp dialog box displays a shortcut consisting of “Alt” and a letter or a combination of 4 digits. By pressing the “Alt” key and entering this combination, you can display the exponent without opening the Symbp dialog box (Older versions of Word may not show the keyboard shortcut for some exponents). You can also create or modify shortcuts using the Shortcut Key button.

### Use the Font dialog box to add exponents

**Select the text that you want to use as the exponent.**Place the mouse pointer in front of the number or letter you want to write higher (like an exponent), hold down the left mouse button and drag the pointer over to highlight the text.

**Access the Font dialog box.**This dialog box allows not only to change the font and text size at the cursor position, but also to format the text in several ways, including converting them to exponential form. How to access the Font dialog box depends on the version of Word you are using.

- For Word 2007 and later, click the diagonal downward arrow button to the right of the Font section of the Home ribbon tab.
- For Word 2003 and earlier, choose “Font” from the “Format” menu.
- The selected text is displayed in the Preview window.

**Check the “Superscript” box in the Effects section.**The text in the Preview window will appear above the main text, at a smaller size and at the top.

**Press “OK”.**The Font dialog box will be closed and the text you selected will be displayed above the main text.

- In addition to the mathematical exponent, you can also use this method to represent the charge as a plus or minus sign (the same number that indicates the amount of electrons gained or lost, or the number of plus or minus signs equivalent to amount of electrons added or lost) is written higher, followed by the chemical symbol. Don’t write a higher number to represent more than one atom of an element in a molecule: use the number written lower than the main text.
- Instead of typing the text you want to display higher than the rest first, you can open the Font dialog box, select “Superscript” and press “OK” and then start typing. If you do, you must open the Font dialog box after typing the text you want to display higher and uncheck “Superscript” to disable this function.

### Adding exponents with Equation Editor (Word 2007 and later)

**Open the Equation Editor.**Click the Equation button denoted by the Greek character pi in the Symbps section of the Insert ribbon tab. Select “Insert New Equation” at the bottom of the drop-down menu.

- You can open editing from a new document or from an existing document. However, the Equation Editor is only available in the .dotx or .docx format of Word’s XML family.

**Select the Script option from the Structures section of the Design tab.**This option button is denoted by the letter “e” to the power “x”. Clicking this will drop down the “Subscripts and Superscripts” and “Common Subscripts and Superscripts” heading menus.

**Select the first option under “Subscripts and Superscripts”.**This option is represented by a larger rectangle whose sides are dashed lines and a smaller rectangular box above it to the right. When this option is selected, a pair of similar boxes in the Equation field will be displayed on the document page.

**Enter the number or variable (base) to be exponentiated.**Use the keyboard to enter the value of the base in the larger box on the left. If a letter is entered for the variable, it will automatically be displayed in italics.

**Enter the number or variable for the exponent.**Use the keyboard to enter this value in the smaller box on the right. If you enter a letter for the variable, it will automatically be displayed in italics.

- You can also just use the keyboard to enter radix and exponents in the Equation field by typing the base first and then pressing the missing sign (^) icon and then the exponent. When you press Enter, close the Equation field, the trailing sign will disappear and the exponent will be displayed higher than the base.
- Equation Editor in Word 2007 and later views equations as Word documents, in which, Equation Editor uses a special math font.

### Adding exponents with Equation Editor (Word 2003 and earlier)

**Open the Equation Editor.**Click “Object” on the “Insert” menu. Select “Create New” from the Insert Object dialog box, and then select “Microsoft Equation 3.0”.

**Click the Exponent button at the bottom line of the Equation toolbar.**A pattern with space for radix and space for exponent will be displayed.

**Enter the base value.**Use the keyboard to enter this value in the larger box on the left.

**Enter the exponent value.**Enter this value in the smaller box on the right.

- The Equation Editor in Word 2003 and earlier treats equations as an object, not as text. However, you can still change the font and its size, format, and position like regular text.

## Warning

- Although Word offers a variety of ways to generate exponents and characters that are written higher, they are considered special characters. Not all fonts support exponents, and Word text that uses exponents when copied into other applications may not be displayed correctly. If you’re not sure if the exponent is displayed, you can write the exponent as usual, followed by a trailing trailing sign (Equation Editor in Word 2007 and later converts the exponent created with it to this format. Click on the equation with the converted exponent to open the Equation field, then click the down arrow button on the bottom right.Select Linear from the Equation Options menu provided. drop down).

This article is co-authored by a team of editors and trained researchers who confirm the accuracy and completeness of the article.

The wikiHow Content Management team carefully monitors the work of editors to ensure that every article is up to a high standard of quality.

This article has been viewed 7,648 times.

Powers or exponents are numbers or variables (letters) written higher to show how many times a number is exponential or multiplied by itself (5 to 3 means to multiply 5 by itself 3 times, or 5 x 5 x 5 = 125). There are several ways to add exponents in Microsoft Word: as symbols, as formatted text with the Font dialog box, or with the Equation Editor function. Follow the instructions below to understand the usage of each method.

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