Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Replacing with a Subscript.

Replacing with a Subscript

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 21, 2018)

9

Arie needs to replace one name with another for several thousand occasions in hundreds of documents. The new name has a subscript character in it, like 'TO2', where the '2' is in subscript. Arie notes that it doesn't seem possible to put this into the standard Find and Replace function in Word, but doesn't look forward to doing the replacements by hand.

Actually, there are a couple of ways you can approach this issue; you should pick the one that is easiest to remember and that fits best with the way you normally work.

The first approach is to do a two-step replacement. Replace the original text with something like "TO++2++". The idea is to make sure that you surround the "2" (the part that will eventually be subscripted) with a sequence of characters that won't be elsewhere in your document. Then, do a replace operation search for "++2++" and replace it with a subscripted "2".

The second approach is easier still; it allows you to do the replacement in a single pass. Follow these general steps:

  1. Type "TO2" and apply the subscript format to the appropriate character (the "2").
  2. Select only the properly formatted text and press Ctrl+X. This removes the text from the document and places it in the Clipboard.
  3. Press Ctrl+H to display the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  4. In the Find What box place whatever text you are searching for.
  5. In the Replace With box enter the characters ^c. This informs Word that you want to replace any instances of the Find What text with whatever is in the Clipboard (your properly formatted text).
  6. Click Replace All.

Word dutifully replaces the original text with the properly formatted TO2 text.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13242) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Replacing with a Subscript.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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Comments

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What is one minus 0?

2018-03-26 20:02:59

Chris

trial and error. Use lowercase c not C in replace with ^c.


2018-03-21 10:52:45

Maggie

You can also achieve this by using Ctrl+H, typing the number to be super/subscripted in the replace with box, clicking the "more" button, and then selecting Format-->Font-->Super/subscript. Depending on the text in the document, you'd first have to perform the initial substitution unless you wanted all of that particular number replaced with the formatted number.

So, let's say you want to replace a regular "2" with a subscripted "2". First, replace the original text with something like "TO++2++". The idea is to make sure that you surround the "2" (the part that will eventually be subscripted) with a sequence of characters that won't be elsewhere in your document.
Then, Ctrl+H, and insert TO++2++ in the "find what box". In the "replace with" box, simply type a "2", select "More", select Format-->Font-->Subscript, and do "replace all". I'm pretty sure this should work and seems a bit simpler?


2018-03-21 05:13:11

Caroline Petherick

I found the Replacing with a Subscript tip very helpful - but only after I'd worked out precisely what the phrase 'the properly formatted text' meant. Initially I'd believed it must have meant the subscript 2, but trial and error led me to find out that it was meant to include the TO as well.
So it would have been helpful if point 2 had gone:
Select only the properly formatted text (in this case, TO2 [the 2 subscripted]) and press


2018-01-27 23:13:20

Zina Rose

i cant make this work in word2011 for mac. i keep getting ^c or c^ etc in replace with. any other suggestions are most welcome.


2016-08-25 01:36:07

Razmahwata

Excellent tip! It took me more time to construct the proper search term for the search engine and find your article, then it was for me to use this tip. Thank you, thank you.


2015-04-18 00:18:33

Karel Pluhar

Seems like a great tip, I have been needing this for years. Trouble is that it doesn't work, at least not in my version of Word 2013. I'll get a message that 6 changes have been made (of the dozens that need to be made), but no changes actually get made. I am trying to turn pKa into pK<subscritped>a

As far as I can tell, you can get a global edit to recognize a superscripted or a subscripted character.

any thoughts would be appreciated. Otherwise I will leave my students to make the changes one at a time in their papers.


2015-03-14 07:51:35

pardeep

how to apply superscript in multipal values


2014-11-07 14:31:54

AKG

An excellent tip! Thanks so very much. You've saved a lot of my time!


2014-10-14 09:14:51

Jane B

Very useful and understandable!


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