How to Fix Google Docs Superscript not Working?

Like other document editing programs, Google docs come with a highly facilitating feature of superscripts & subscripts that enables the users to meet their needs of writing text or characters below & above the lines, respectively, especially in the case of a mathematical equation or chemical formula.

You can utilize this excellent feature either by using a keyboard shortcut or perform it by using a command in the menu of Google docs. It is a well-known fact that most computer users prefer to use the shortcut keys for functional purposes more often than the time-consuming manual ways because shortcut keys have significantly eased the process of navigating, editing & formatting, and noticeably the usage of keyboard.

A similar shortcut key approach is mainly used also by Google docs users to carry on certain tasks.

Google docs superscript hotkey error

The users often encounter a pretty common issue in using the superscript shortcut key in Google docs. This Google docs superscript shortcut error can occur in all operating systems & in all kid of browsers; there is no platform limitation. Many users have reported that the superscript in Google docs is not working for some unknown reasons with the hotkey (Ctrl + .).

What causes the “superscript Google docs” feature not to work?

The most frequently found causes of this error are enlisted here.

Keyboard layout difference

The cause of the error may be a hardware-related limitation. Maybe the keyboard layout you are using doesn’t support the shortcut key feature, and that’s why all your attempts of hotkeys are resulting in vain. In such situations, you can either replace the keyboard layout or can use an alternate way of superscripting.

Outdated browsers version

Despite its utmost flexibility, Google docs still cause a problem in some of its features if the browser you are using is outdated. The reason is that an outdated browser version may cause a compatibility issue with Google docs.

Cache & cookies

As it is known to all computer users that almost every browser stores certain cache & cookies associated with variant sites for an improved & efficient user experience with the browser. Some of these stored cookies might have been corrupted, which may result in disabling the superscript feature of Google docs.

Extension conflicts

Though the extension integration is a handy feature of the browser sometimes, it doesn’t work nicely with Google docs because these extensions generally run in the background. Their certain coding section can trigger few conflicts that may lead to an error with the browser superscript shortcut key.

AdBlock extension

Doubtlessly browser extensions affect the superscript feature significantly, as has been already explained, but the AdBlock extension causes much more glitches than any other extension. If an AdBlock extension is installed into your system’s browser, then for sure, this the only cause of this superscript error in Google docs. It’s because both the AdBlock extension & superscript feature own the same shortcut key CTRL (control command) + .(period).

So, whenever you process this command, you either pause or resume the AdBlock extension (if it is running in the background) instead of generating superscript in Google docs.

How to Do Superscript in Google Docs – Quick Fixes

We have come across a query “how to superscript in google docs” repeatedly. The google docs users encountering the error in using superscript hotkeys are looking forward to some quick & easy ways to get out of this situation. Regarding their concern, we performed a detailed analysis over this, and here we have presented a comprehensive list of all the possible ways to overcome this superscript hotkey error situation.

Update your browser

Generally, an outdated browser creates problems in the working of many useful functionalities. In case of superscript & subscript google docs error, you must affirm it first that whether the browser you are using is up to date or not. To do so, you may need to check for the browser updates available on your system.

  • Launch the Chrome browser in desktop view.
  • Access the Chrome menu by pressing the Alt + F shortcut keys.
  • Press S to access the browser’s settings.
  • In settings, click on the option “About Chrome” available in the left panel.
  • Here you’ll see all the latest updates available for your chrome.
  • Then update chrome to the newest version available for your operating system.
  • Restart your browser.

Clear cache & cookies

Though the cache & cookies are essential for a better performance of the browser, the removal of these cookies can solve many issues associated with the variant functionalities of the browser; because, in most cases, there might be any corrupted cookies files too.

To clear cache & cookies in chrome:

  • Launch the Chrome browser on your PC.
  • Use the hotkey Alt + F to access the browser menu.
  • Press S to open chrome’s settings interfaPrivacyck on the “Privacy & Security” tab from the left panel menu.
  • Clear the option “Clear browsing data.”
  • Here checkmark all 3 options & click on the “clear data” button.

To clear cache & cookies in Firefox:

  • Launch your Firefox browser on your desktop.
  • Click on the gear icon available on the top left corner to access settings.
  • In the settings menu, select the “Privacy & Security” tab.
  • Click on the “clear data” option below the “cookies and site data” heading.
  • Checkmark both options & click on the “clear” button.

Disable challenging extensions

Some extensions may interfere with the smooth functioning of certain websites & webpages. So, to get over the problematic situation caused by this extension conflict, you can either temporarily disable the extension or remove it permanently. Both processes involve similar kinds of procedures, but if you disable it, then, later on, you’ll always have a choice to reenable it anytime. To do so:

  • Launch your Chrome browser.
  • Click on the dotted icon in the top left corner or press the hotkey (Alt + E).
  • Press S or navigate to settings options.
  • In chrome settings, select the Extensions option from the left panel menu.
  • Here, identify the challenging extension, tap on it to disable it. (make sure it turned grey).
  • If you want to delete it permanently, then click on the “remove” option.
  • Now restart your browser & access Google docs again.

Revert browser’s settings to default

Certain extensions or apps you have installed on your system might have changed the settings, and you won’t be aware of it. In such cases, you may need to roll back your browser’s settings to their previous or default state in some way; resetting works wonder in this case. 

As the resetting process will not affect any of your important browser information or data, but it will only disable all the extensions collectively; this way, you won’t even need to disable each extension individually, which’s more time-consuming. This process is quite efficient in reverting your browser’s settings.

  • Open your chrome browser.
  • Press (Alt + F) hotkey to access its menu.
  • Select the “settings” option in the browser’s menu or directly press S.
  • In settings, select the “advanced” option available in the left panel.
  • Here click on “reset and clean up.”
  • Then select the option “restore settings to their original defaults” and proceed by following the next on-screen prompts.
  • Restart your browser and attempt again to use the superscript shortcut key in Google docs.

 If the resetting option doesn’t work in your case, then you can go for the browser’s reinstallation option. 

Adjustments of AdBlock extensions

To get off the state of intermingling conflicts caused by an AdBlock extension, it is suggested to remove its shortcut key to recreating it uniquely. So, you can either tune it from a particular browser’s settings or can do it directly from the context menu(right-clicking).

By context menu option, you will need to:

  • Right-click anywhere on the interface of Google docs.
  • Select the AdBlock option.
  • Click on the option “pause on this site,” or you can go for the option “pause on all sites.”
  • Then you can restart it anytime from the context menu by selecting the option “resume blocking ads.”

 As an AdBlock extension is available for Chrome, Firefox & Edge desktop versions, so it will require a different procedure to be performed for its removal on all three browsers.

So, in the case of the Firefox browser:

  • Launch your Firefox browser and type “about: addons” in the search bar.
  • Click on the Settings icon (gear icon).
  • Select the option “manage extension shortcut” and navigate to AdBlock.
  • Click on the delete icon (trash symbol) to remove it.
  • Then you can also create a new shortcut key for the AdBlock extension by entering a combination of hotkeys of your own choice.

For Chrome browser:

  • Launch your Chrome browser.
  • Click on the dotted icon in the top corner.
  • Access the browser’s settings either directly or by using the shortcut key S.
  • In the browser’s settings, click on the “extensions” option.
  • Here select the AdBlock extension & click on the “remove” button.

After implementing any of the stated procedures, refresh the Google docs page to activate your applied changes.

Use menu path as an alternative

If in case the keyboard layout you are using doesn’t support shortcut keys features, then the most feasible option you can for is: convert your texts to superscripts using the menu path. For this:

  • Access the Google docs site & open your document.
  • Select the particular text or character you want to convert.
  • Hover over the “format” option available in the top menu.
  • Again, hover over the “text” option in the “format” menu list.
  • Select the “superscript” option.

Use an online superscript generator

Apart from all the useful ways stated above, if you still want another quick & easy way to convert your text or characters to superscripts or subscripts in google docs, then you can use any online subscript or superscript generator depending on your exact need.

Moreover, to provide you with the most convenient way, we have put down the text in both formats’ superscript & google docs subscript. You need to copy the provided text format & paste it into your Google Docs document. Then replace it with your specific character or text.

Superscript: XYZ2X

Subscript: XYZ2X

Note: Not only docs but these working strategies are equally beneficial for adding superscript in google slides too.


Superscript & subscript on google docs is similar in a way, as one shifts the text above the line while the other shifts it to below the line. Many computer users reported an error that the hotkey of superscript often doesn’t work in google docs. So, In this article, we have majorly covered the superscript converting ways; however, most of the approaches provide useful information on how to do subscript in google docs.

Though the Superscript shortcut key (Ctrl + .) may stop working due to variant reasons, but from the above discussion, it can be concluded that the extensions often play a significant role in affecting the functionality of superscript hotkey. In other cases, an outdated browser or corrupted cache & cookies may also be the reason for this error. That’s why we have curated the approaches in chronological order concerning the complexity of occurred errors.

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Categories: How-tos