Superscript and subscript buttons for Excel 2003/2007/2010/2013/2016

Add the missing formatting buttons to your Microsoft® Excel®

NEW VERSION
Now with real keyboard shortcuts and proper operation also on Excel 2013 and 2016!

Most Microsoft Excel users have noted that it is very frustrating to use superscript or subscript formatting in Microsoft Excel. Such formatting is not available on any toolbar or ribbon tab; even adding them there by customizing the toolbars/ribbon is not possible (on the Windows® version of Microsoft Excel). The only way to use superscript and subscript effects is to go through the Format Cells dialog each time you need to change the style.

There are several macros and add-ins available in the Internet that try to solve this shortage of Microsoft Excel. Many simple macro-based buttons allow only the whole cell to be formatted in superscript or subscript, which is basically useless! Other popular ones provide awful custom "edit dialog" with superscript and subscript buttons. However, this kind of approach has poor usability in daily use.

Free download

PanuWorld provides you an easy-to-use solution to this problem: PanuWorld's unique ExcelSuperSubToolbar COM add-in adds real Superscript and Subscript buttons on the toolbar/ribbon of Microsoft Excel!

Superscript and Subscript Buttons for Microsoft Excel (version 1.4.1) (ZIP, 339 kB)
Run this setup program to install the add-in and restart Microsoft Excel to get the new toolbar/ribbon buttons and keyboard shortcuts. NB! This add-in is not available for 64-bit versions of Microsoft Excel.

The new buttons work like the built-in Superscript and Subscript buttons in Microsoft Word® and Microsoft PowerPoint®: for example, they reflect the text style of the current selection or insertion point. Buttons can be used to format not only entire cells but also change the text style during in-cell editing (while changing the cell contents, a.k.a. edit mode).

As a bonus, the add-in adds Symbol Font function familiar to Microsoft Word users: just press the toolbar/ribbon button (or the shortcut key combination, see below) and the next letter you type will use the Symbol font. After that, the previous font is automatically restored. It is very handy way to type e.g. formulas containing Greek letters.

You can also use keyboard shortcuts to access the new functions. The keyboard shortcuts are same on all keyboard layouts:

Icon
Function
Shortcut
Notes
x2
Superscript
Ctrl+?
Word shortcut (Ctrl++) is reserved by Excel for Insert Cells
x2
Subscript
Ctrl+=
Same as in Word by default
Ω
Symbol Font
Ctrl+Shift+Q
Same as in Word by default

Extra right-click context menu items are also available while you are editing cell contents (either directly or in the Formula Bar). This is a workaround for the fact that no buttons can be added on the floating Mini Toolbar.

Details

Microsoft Office Excel 2003: By default, the add-in adds the new Superscript, Subscript, and Symbol Font buttons on the Formatting toolbar between the Underline and Align Left buttons (see picture). If you wish, you can copy or move them to any toolbar using the toolbar customization mode. If you accidentally delete those buttons, just restart Microsoft Excel to recreate them.

Microsoft Office Excel 2007: The add-in adds the new Superscript, Subscript, and Symbol Font buttons on the Home tab of the ribbon between the Font and Alignment groups. If you wish, you can add them also the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) manually.

Microsoft Excel 2010, 2013, and 2016 (32-bit versions only): By default, the add-in adds the new Superscript, Subscript, and Symbol Font buttons on the Home tab of the ribbon between the Font and Alignment groups (see picture). If you wish, you can hide this button group and/or add them to any custom group on the ribbon using the ribbon customization mode or to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT).

limitations

Because of a "feature" on Microsoft Office Excel 2007 and later, the new buttons do not work when editing text in text boxes and shapes (including texts on Excel charts).

However, the there are rarely known built-in keyboard shortcuts for superscript and subscript when editing charts and text boxes — they are actually the same as in Microsoft PowerPoint: try the + key of the main keyboard with Ctrl and Ctrl+Shift *.

Customization

If you are using a non-English version of Excel, you might like to change the button tooltips and context menu texts so that they work properly in your language. This can be achieved simply by editing the file \Program Files (x86)\PanuWorld\ExcelSuperSubToolbar\ExcelSuperSubToolbar.ini with Notepad.

Detailed information about adding new languages can be found in the file itself. For consistency, it is recommended to check the texts related to the Superscript, Subscript, and Symbol Font functions in Microsoft Word and use the same texts in Excel, too.

You can add a language just for your own fun but if you want to help others, you can send your updated ExcelSuperSubToolbar.ini to with a short cover message.

Uninstallation

To remove the buttons from your Microsoft Excel, uninstall the add-in using Add/Remove Programs (Programs and Features) in the Windows Control Panel.

Version history

 
To see PanuWorld's finest appearance, update your web browser!