• 3-minute read
  • 11th August 2020

Superscript, Subscript and Strikethrough in Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word has options to apply superscript, subscript, and strikethrough to text in a document. But what do these formatting options do? And how do you select them? In this post, we explain the basics.

Superscript and Subscript in Microsoft Word

Superscript and subscript both affect the placement of text compared to other text in a document. Formatting text as superscript makes it appear slightly above the regular text line. For instance:

Regular Text Superscript

Subscript text, meanwhile, appears slightly below the regular text line:

Regular Text Subscript

To apply these text styles in Microsoft Word:

  1. Select the text you want to format with the cursor.
  2. Go to the Font section of the Home tab on the main ribbon.
  3. Click either superscript (X2) or subscript (X2).

This will apply the formatting to the selected text. And to continue typing without the formatting, simply uncheck the superscript or subscript option.

The superscript and subscript buttons.
The superscript and subscript buttons.

If you use superscript and subscript a lot, you can also apply these formatting options with the following keyboard shortcuts:


Word for Windows

Word for Mac


Ctrl + Shift + Plus Sign (+)

Cmd + Shift + Plus Sign (+)


Ctrl + Equals Sign (=)

Cmd + Equals Sign (=)

In Word for Mac 2011, use the shortcut Command + Minus Sign (-) instead.

Find this useful?

Subscribe to our newsletter and get writing tips from our editors straight to your inbox.

Strikethrough in Microsoft Word

Applying strikethrough to text makes it look like it has been crossed out:

This text should have a line through it.

To applying this formatting in Microsoft Word, all you need to do is:

  1. Select the text you want to format with the cursor.
  2. Go to the Font section of the Home tab on the main ribbon.
  3. Select strikethrough (this will be displayed as ab or abc).
The strikethrough button.
The strikethrough button in Microsoft Word.

This will apply the formatting to the selected text. If you need to continue typing with regular text after this, uncheck the strikethrough option first.

There is no default keyboard shortcut for strikethrough in Microsoft Word for Windows, unfortunately, but you can assign a shortcut if you find yourself using this formatting often. On Microsoft Word for Mac, you can use the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + X.

Professional Proofreading Services

Superscript, subscript, and strikethrough are used for various reasons in writing, from footnotes to chemical formulae. But to make sure your work is always professional, don’t forget to have it proofread by the experts.

Comments (1)
Elizabeth Smith
1st May 2021 at 17:26
Thank you for showing us where to find this when it was right in front of us. Happy!

Got content that needs a quick turnaround?

Let us polish your work.

Explore our editorial business services.

More Writing Tips?
Trusted by thousands of leading
institutions and businesses

Make sure your writing is the best it can be with our expert English proofreading and editing.