Entering an exponent number on the Mac, e.g. displaying something in the Pages word processor or Numbers spreadsheet in square or cube, is no rocket science. It's even easier to do in Word and similar Office apps. If you want to enter and use exponents - or more scientific: exponents - on your Apple Mac, iMac or MacBook, then simply use one of the following tips and tricks. Because there is not just one, but several ways to get under macOS 2, 3 or -10 to enter.
Chapter in this post:
Enter exponents on the Mac using a keyboard shortcut
The fastest way to get an exponent or a superscript is a keyboard shortcut on Mac OS X and macOS. The shortcut for exponents is used after entering and marking it. So you first enter the number, the variable or the text that you want to increase, then mark it and then press control + command + plus key or [ctrl] + [cmd] + [+]. By the way, you proceed similarly if you want to place characters in lower places. Then you mark the respective characters and press control + command + minus key or [ctrl] + [cmd] + [-]. In this way, exponents and subscripts can be entered on the Mac without having to change anything in the programs or their settings.
Update 14.02.2020/XNUMX/XNUMX: Keyboard shortcuts no longer work
Unfortunately, I can't say since when the abovementioned keyboard shortcuts no longer work, but the fact is that they do not change the text for me under macOS Catalina. If a reader has a tip on how to do it with key shortcuts, I'll be happy to add it here.
Control videos with keyboard shortcuts: Practical YouTube shortcuts summarized
Enter exponents in iWork, MS Office, OpenOffice and Co.
Let's start with the simplest office apps, namely the Microsoft Office programs. In the formatting bar of Word, Excel and Co. there is the menu item the corresponding symbol for superscript and subscript characters. Here you just have to mark the corresponding text or the numbers and then click on the menu item. Since most of the free office packages such as OpenOffice are based on Microsoft specifications, they also have such a menu item.
With Apple iWork, i.e. Pages, Numbers, Keynote and similar apps that can be used on the Apple Mac, iPhone and iPad, this is not the case. Here you can either use the keyboard shortcut I showed you above - or fix the lack of toolbar options in the program's settings. Because Apple definitely keeps the option open to format numbers superscript and subscript. To do this, simply click on the toolbar with the right mouse button or with the secondary click of the Apple mouse, select "Customize toolbar...", drag the desired icons into the toolbar and then press Escape or [esc] on the keyboard.
Recommended reading: macOS Mojave keyboard shortcuts by Johann Szierbeck
Automatic number superscript on the Mac
Whether in the Word app, the apps from free "Open" offers or the Pages App from Apple - usually characters can be automatically replaced by others. For example, I have it set that the bracketed two and the bracketed three automatically become ² and ³. But you can also set the same for ^2 and ^3 or other character strings. To do the whole thing under macOS on the Apple Mac, proceed as follows:
- Click on that Apple symbol in the top left of the menu bar
- Click on in the corresponding menu System settings ...
- Pick the point Keyboard from
- Select the second tab named text
- Click on the "+" under the replace with table to add a new entry
- Enter the character string to be entered in "Replace" and the desired exponent in "Through"
Define exponent shortcuts for specific app
It does not always make sense to go through the above procedure via the system settings of macOS. Because these are applied to all programs (relating to the settings). So if you want to use the app's own resources in Word and Excel, but use shortcuts in Pages and Numbers, then you follow very similar steps in the respective program. For Pages, the procedure for individual number / superscript key combinations is as follows:
- Opens Pages or another iWork program you use
- Click on the menu item Pages (or Numbers, KeynoteEtc.).
- Click in the drop-down menu Settings ...
- Choose the tab Automatic correction from
- Now fill the replace with table again by clicking on the "+"
Conclusion on the topic
Macs superscripts and superscripted variables or other raised characters in word processing and spreadsheets are not difficult to achieve. Whether a key combination for superscripting characters or settings in the system and programs that help - there is always a way. Hopefully this little advisory article could be of help to you. If so - or if you have any further tips and tricks on the subject - please leave a comment;)
After graduating from high school, Johannes completed an apprenticeship as a business assistant specializing in foreign languages. But then he decided to research and write, which resulted in his independence. For several years he has been working for Sir Apfelot, among others. His articles include product introductions, news, manuals, video games, consoles, and more. He follows Apple keynotes live via stream.