How to subscript in Google Docs

As I was recently writing a piece on how to superscript in Google Docs which went into a bit more detail about this specific feature than our big list of Google Docs hotkeys article, I thought it might be nice to share the instructions on how to do “subscript” in Google’s market leading word processing and collaborative document preparation tool!

What is subscript

Subscript text is text which displays “below” the rest of the line of text, for example like this.

When might subscript be useful

Subscript text is useful in situations where you want to display a formula, particular a scientific formula, in your text. For example, this is water:


Alternatively, here is carbon dioxide with the 2 sub-scripted:


How to make text subscript in Google Docs

In Google Docs, to make text display at or below the baseline, then do the following:

  1. Highlight the text you wish to subscript; then
  2. Press CTRL + ,

Specifically this means you should press the CTRL and the comma key at the same time.

Using the Special Characters Tool

If you can’t get that to work, try using the special character tool by going to Insert > Special Characters > Search for “subscript” and choose your special character like this:

using the special characters tool to do subscript in Google Docs

Any questions?

Had any trouble implementing the above? Worked perfectly for you? Leave a comment or question below!

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4 thoughts on “How to subscript in Google Docs

  1. Hi!
    This is wrong, doesn’t work on my PC (Windows 8).
    Ctrl + , (number) only succeeded in changing the tabs on my chrome browser, and did not give me a subscript.
    For instance, Ctrl + , (3) only changed my Chrome window to the third tab, etc.

    1. You press the ctrl key and the COMMA key at the same time. I don’t know where you’re getting “(number)” from? Its written in words in the text, above:

      “Specifically this means you should press the CTRL and the comma key at the same time.”

  2. You press Ctrl + , when the number is highlighted.
    So you would highlight the number 3 and then press Ctrl + ,
    It’s not Ctrl + , + 3
    Learn how to read instructions

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