Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Replacing with a Subscript.

Replacing with a Subscript

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 16, 2018)

32

Arie needs to replace one name with another for several thousand occasions in hundreds of documents. The new name has a subscript character in it, like 'TO2', where the '2' is in subscript. Arie notes that it doesn't seem possible to put this into the standard Find and Replace function in Word, but doesn't look forward to doing the replacements by hand.

Actually, there are a couple of ways you can approach this issue; you should pick the one that is easiest to remember and that fits best with the way you normally work.

The first approach is to do a two-step replacement. Replace the original text with something like "TO++2++". The idea is to make sure that you surround the "2" (the part that will eventually be subscripted) with a sequence of characters that won't be elsewhere in your document. Then, do a replace operation search for "++2++" and replace it with a subscripted "2".

The second approach is easier still; it allows you to do the replacement in a single pass. Follow these general steps:

  1. Type "TO2" and apply the subscript format to the appropriate character (the "2").
  2. Select only the properly formatted text and press Ctrl+X. This puts the text into the Clipboard.
  3. Press Ctrl+H to display the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  4. In the Find What box place whatever text you are searching for.
  5. In the Replace With box enter the characters ^c. This informs Word that you want to replace any instances of the Find What text with whatever is in the Clipboard (your properly formatted text).
  6. Click Replace All.

Word dutifully replaces the original text with the properly formatted TO2 text.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3837) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Replacing with a Subscript.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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Comments

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What is one less than 4?

2020-10-01 22:37:13

Brandon

Thank you! This worked perfectly for replacing improperly-formatted chemical formulas.


2020-06-27 12:31:03

Catherine

Wow, thank you for such a great tip! I wasn't looking forward to manually replacing all mention of CO2 with the correctly formatted version!


2020-06-04 04:47:41

Lewis Bailey

Allen ... a brilliant solution .. much appreciated by an Australia Chemistry instructor.

Just replaced 171 instances of "CO2" to the proper subscripted "2".

Cheers & Thanks !


2020-05-11 12:46:30

Ed Harper

This doesn't work. I'm trying to replace CO2 with the proper way of writing it, but it's not doing it. It says it's made the replacements but it hasn't.


2020-04-12 13:38:42

Syme

BLESS YOU this is amazing


2020-04-05 23:43:28

Raja Setlur

Got my first tip from you today! Thank you sir!


2019-11-10 07:39:26

LA

Very helpful. Thanks.


2019-07-28 23:14:35

Guntar

Briliiant Tips! Thank you verymuch, Sir!


2019-05-29 18:48:44

James Raymond

ctrl H and ^c worked great! thank you


2019-02-27 05:45:40

Ann

Thank you SO MUCH. You saved me!!!


2019-02-07 19:45:15

Carla

All I can say is, I love you.


2018-11-03 12:36:46

Lawrence

Greatest-tip-ever! Genius!


2018-10-20 04:23:09

Nina Frantzen

I would like to do just the reverse of this... I would like to replace all of the superscripted numbers in my document with something else (namely, a space).
I ried the ^c in the find field, and it does not work.
Thank you for your help!


2018-09-03 16:24:07

Vincent

You saved me hours, thanks a lot!


2018-01-31 17:03:49

Kala

THANK YOU!


2018-01-08 01:38:29

Henry

So useful ! It helped with my thesis writing .. over 100+ words to be replaced with the chemical name subscript ! Thx dude ...great help there ;)


2017-12-13 12:22:29

John

Thank you very much for your help. You saved me loads of time.


2017-12-07 15:11:59

Evangelia

Dear Sir,

Thank you very much for your advice for "Replacing with a Subscript". Valuable help!


2017-11-29 03:45:34

YaYa

Perfect. Just don´t do the same mistake as me - copy the properly formatted text, then the open search box and copy the command into replace (overwriting the clipboard) :) But in the end, I found out what I was doing wrong.


2017-03-01 14:58:33

dev

Dear Sir

Thank you so much!! You have no idea how grateful I shall always be to you for the help. I was struggling with editing in my thesis.


2016-06-10 11:52:10

Joe

I was about to rip my own head off trying to search and replace 4 different 90 page experimental scripts to include a degrees sign (superscripted white circle). You probably just saved me an entire day of clicking and typing single characters at a time... thank you so much!!!


2016-05-19 13:46:17

Rebecca

THANK YOU!!!!! You just saved me so much time!


2016-01-21 20:55:31

Ganesh Rajasekharan

Awsome!!!

This technique really helped me in searching and replacing a single word with multiple line content

Great and thank you so much to the author


2015-10-19 12:21:06

Sola

If I could give you a hug right now, I would. Thank you so much! You saved me some much time and energy.


2015-08-09 09:59:54

Suslik

Thank you very very much, it is extremely helpful!!!


2015-06-03 01:54:45

Jasmine

2 words 4 u: life savior!


2015-05-05 12:03:20

thank you

fantastic, thanks so much


2015-04-04 04:23:38

Shahrzad Fathollahipour

You can't imagine how much you helped me with your solution. Really thanks and wish you good luck :)


2015-02-23 03:14:42

Buzzed Aldrin

OUT.STAND.ING tip. So simple yet I had no awareness of the ^c replace-with-clipboard functionality (and would not have assumed formatting would be retained through the Find/Replace dialog), just XLNT!


2014-11-29 06:50:30

M. D.

Tank you so much!
This saved me several hours of midless work.


2014-11-17 21:50:41

edwin thein

Great tip!
Wonder if there is a special symbol function e.g. ^p or some other ^ command for subscript and superscripts


2014-05-26 03:39:55

Michele

Thank you for this useful tip!


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