How to Include an Exponent in Google Docs


Matthew Burleigh

In Google Docs, to include an exponent, use the equation tool: Click “Insert”, select “Equation”, type your base number, click “New equation”, then type the exponent. You can also use the superscript feature by highlighting the exponent number, clicking “Format”, selecting “Text”, and then “Superscript”. Now, let’s dive deeper into the process and its implications.

After you insert an exponent in your Google Doc, your document will contain correctly formatted mathematical expressions. This allows for clear presentation of complex numerical concepts, whether it be in academic papers, financial reports, or technical documents.


Whether you’re crunching numbers for a math assignment, drafting a scientific paper, or creating financial reports, the power of exponents can be essential in conveying your message clearly. But how do you represent these tiny but mighty numbers in Google Docs? This isn’t just about making your document look professional—it’s about accuracy and understanding. After all, in the world of numbers, 5² and 52 are worlds apart! Teachers, students, professionals, and anyone who dabbles in documentation with numerical data will find this skill indispensable.

In a digital age where information is king, understanding how to represent it correctly is the queen. Not just in the realm of math and science, but in any field where precision is paramount, the ability to insert an exponent in your documents can be a real game-changer. It’s a simple process once you get the hang of it, and with a few clicks, your Google Docs will be exponent-ready!

Related: How to Use Subscript in Google Docs Documents

A Step by Step Tutorial

Here’s a breakdown of how you can insert exponents into your Google Docs, making sure your numbers pack the punch they’re supposed to.

Step 1: Open the Equation Toolbar

Click “Insert” at the top, and select “Equation” from the dropdown menu.

This step enables the equation toolbar in your Google Docs, opening up a world of mathematical expression tools.

Step 2: Enter Your Base Number

Type the base number for your exponent.

This is the number that you will be raising to a power. It’s the ‘big’ number before the tiny exponent number.

Step 3: Create a New Equation for the Exponent

Click “New equation” to insert your exponent.

By creating a new equation, you are telling Google Docs to treat your next set of numbers as separate from the base number, typically as the exponent.

Step 4: Type Your Exponent

Now type in your exponent number after selecting the equation box.

This is the small number that tells how many times to multiply the base number by itself.


Highlighting the benefits of knowing how to insert exponents properly in Google Docs.

Clarity in Mathematical Expressions

Correct exponent formatting leads to clear and unambiguous mathematical communication.

When numbers are correctly formatted as exponents, it eliminates confusion, ensuring that readers interpret the data as intended.

Professionalism in Documentation

Documents with properly formatted mathematical expressions look more professional.

This can make a big difference when submitting academic work, presenting professional reports, or publishing research papers.

Versatility in Document Creation

Understanding how to use exponents broadens the types of documents you can create with Google Docs.

From scientific research to financial analysis, the use of exponents opens up possibilities for more complex and varied documents.


Despite the benefits, there are limitations to Google Docs’ exponent formatting capabilities.

Limited Mathematical Functionality

Google Docs does not have advanced mathematical formatting options compared to specialized software.

For more complex mathematical typesetting, dedicated mathematical software might be more suitable than Google Docs.

Slight Learning Curve

For those new to Google Docs, there is a learning curve in using the equation tool effectively.

Some users may find the process of inserting exponents not as intuitive initially and may require practice to become proficient.


The exponent feature in Google Docs may not be as accessible to those using screen readers or other assistive technologies.

Users relying on such technologies may encounter difficulties in navigating and using the equation tool for exponents.

Additional Information

While inserting exponents in Google Docs is fairly straightforward, a few additional tips can make the process even smoother. If you’re planning to use exponents frequently, learning keyboard shortcuts can save time. For instance, after highlighting the number you wish to make an exponent, you can press Ctrl + . (Cmd + . on Mac) to toggle superscript formatting quickly. Keep in mind that Google Docs allows for simple to moderately complex equations, but for more advanced mathematical typesetting, you might want to use Google Docs in conjunction with other software like LaTeX. Moreover, always review your documents for correct exponent formatting, as small errors in exponents can lead to big misunderstandings in meaning.


  1. Open the Equation Toolbar.
  2. Enter Your Base Number.
  3. Create a New Equation for the Exponent.
  4. Type Your Exponent.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use keyboard shortcuts for exponents in Google Docs?

Yes, after typing your base number, highlight the exponent number and press Ctrl + . (Cmd + . on Mac) to make it superscript.

Is it possible to insert exponents in Google Docs on mobile devices?

Yes, you can insert exponents in Google Docs on mobile by selecting the text and tapping the superscript icon in the formatting menu.

Are there any plugins for Google Docs to insert exponents more efficiently?

Google Docs doesn’t support plugins like Microsoft Word, but it does have built-in features for inserting mathematical expressions, including exponents.

Can I insert exponents in Google Sheets using the same method?

No, Google Sheets uses a different method involving cell formulas for exponents, typically using the ^ symbol.

How do I undo the exponent formatting in Google Docs?

Highlight the exponent and press Ctrl + . (Cmd + . on Mac) again to remove the superscript formatting or go to the menu and deselect “Superscript.”


Mastering the art of inserting exponents in Google Docs is like learning the secret handshake of the digital documentation world. It’s a skill that may seem small, but its impact on your work’s clarity and professionalism is huge. As we’ve seen, whether it’s the ease of use, the professional finish, or the versatile document types you can create, knowing how to handle exponents can significantly enhance your documentation game. So go ahead, raise your numbers—and your document quality—to the power of excellence!

Matthew Burleigh

Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech content online for more than ten years. He enjoys writing about Google Docs in addition to many other applications and devices and has cumulatively covered Google’s word-processing application in hundreds of different articles.

He has been published on dozens of popular websites, and his works have accumulated millions of pageviews.
While focused primarily on tutorials and guides for popular electronics like the iPhone and iPad, as well as common applications like Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel, he covers topics across the entire technology spectrum.

You can read his bio here.

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