Inserting Symbols, Sub/Superscript and Equations

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Microsoft Word

The following guide will help you add symbols, subscript & superscript text, and equations to documents created in Microsoft Word. The steps for creating these text elements are listed for both Office 2011 for Mac users and Office 2013 (including Office 365) for Windows users.

Inserting Symbols

Office 2013 for Windows
symbol browser mac office 2011

Office 2011 (Mac) Symbol Browser

  • Click in the document where you would like to add a symbol.
  • Click on the “Insert” tab on the Ribbon.
  • Click on “Symbols”.
  • Click on “More Symbols...”
    • This will open the Symbol Gallery.
  • Click on the “Subset” drop down menu arrow.
  • Click on a subset to select it (i.e. Greek Extended).
  • Click on a symbol to select it.
  • Click “Insert” to add the symbol into your document.
  • Click the red “X” to close the Symbol Gallery.

Office 2011 for Mac

  • Click in the document where you would like to add a symbol.
  • Click on “Insert > Symbol > Symbol Browser” in the menu bar.
    • This will open the Symbols section in the Media Browser.
  • Click on the drop down menu.
  • Click on a subset to select it (i.e. Greek).
  • Click on a symbol to insert it into your document.
  • Click the red “X” to close the Media Browser.

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Inserting Subscript and Superscript Text

Office 2013 for Windows & Office 2011 for Mac

Subscript

  • Click on the “Home” tab in the Ribbon (if not the active tab).
  • If you have text already typed that you want to make subscript, select that text.
  • Click on the Subscript icon.
    • Office 2013 for Windows icon:X2
    • Office 2011 for Mac icon:A2
  • If you want enter new subscript text, type that now.
  • Click on the Subscript icon to stop formatting new text as subscript.

Superscript

  • Click on the “Home” tab in the Ribbon (if not the active tab).
  • If you have text already typed that you want to make superscript, select that text.
  • Click on the Superscript icon.
    • Office 2013 for Windows icon: "X2"
    • Office 2011 for Mac icon: "A2"
  • If you want enter new superscript text, type that now.
  • Click on the Superscript icon to stop formatting new text as superscript.

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Inserting Equations

Office 2013 for Windows & Office 2011 for Mac

  • Office 2013 for Windows:
  • Click on the “Insert” tab on the Ribbon.
  • Office 2011 for Mac:
  • Click on the “Insert” menu on the Menu bar.
  • Click on “Equation”.
    • This will open the Equation Tools.
      equation tools small image 
  • Use the “Math Symbols” section to browse common mathematical characters and operators.
  • Click on a symbol to insert it into your equation.
  • Use the “Structures” section to browse the available equation objects.
  • Click on a category (i.e. “Accent”) to view the drop down menu of objects in that group.
  • Click on an object to insert it into your equation.
    • The object will be inserted with one or more empty squares.
      equation boxes example 
  • Click inside the square(s) and type any values or text you want to be in the object.
    • You can also click in the squares(s) and insert symbols as above.

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