Updated: 09/03/2019 by Computer Hope
Example of subscript (x sub two).

Subscript may refer to any of the following:

1. Abbreviated as sub, subscript refers to words or character that are half the height of a standard character and printed lower than the rest of the text. Below is an example of subscript text, which shows "Subscript Text" halfway below the bottom line of the "Normal Text."

Normal Text Subscript Text

Creating subscript in Microsoft Word

Subscript in Microsoft Word

To create subscript in Microsoft Word, highlight the text you want to subscript and then click the subscript button, which is the X2 option in the Font section.


You can also highlight the text you want to subscript and press and hold down the Ctrl key and press the = on the top row of your keyboard.

Creating subscript in Microsoft Excel

Subscript in Microsoft Excel

To create subscript in Microsoft Excel, follow these steps.

  1. Click on the cell containing the text you want to make subscript.
  2. In the formula bar, highlight the character you want to set as subscript.

Highlight characters to create subscript in Microsoft Excel

  1. Press the Ctrl key + number 1 key to open the Format Cells window.
  2. Click the checkbox for the Subscript option and click OK.

Subscript option in Microsoft Excel


The subscript characters are displayed in the cell, but not in the formula bar.

Creating subscript in HTML

To subscript text in HTML, use the <sub></sub> tags as shown in the example below.

Normal Text <sub>Subscript Text</sub>

Why would anyone need to use subscript?

Besides using subscript for its visual properties, there are other places that it can be used.

  • Listing how many atoms are in a chemical formula. For example, with water, "H2O" indicates there are two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom.
  • In mathematics, a subscript can be used to describe different versions of the same variable or used to refer to a member of sequence or set.

2. In computer programming, a subscript is a number representing an element in an array. For example, with example[3] or $example[3] the "[3]" is the subscript of the "example" array.

Computer abbreviations, Font, Programming terms, Sub, Superscript, Typography terms, Word processor terms