Fix: Google Docs Superscript not Working

The superscript (usually, the keyboard shortcut of it) may not function in Google Docs if you are using an outdated version of the browser. Moreover, conflicting browser extensions or corrupt cookies/cache may also result in the error under discussion.

The user encounters the issue when he tries to superscript a text by using the keyboard shortcut. The issue is reported on nearly all the major operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.) and browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, etc.).

Google Docs Superscript Not Working

Before moving on with the troubleshooting process to fix superscript in Google Docs, restart your device to rule out any temporary glitch. If you are using a managed (school or corporate) device/account, then contact the IT administrator of your organization.

Moreover, make sure you are trying the right keyboard shortcut, i.e. pressing the Ctrl/Command and Period keys simultaneously (some users were trying to use Ctrl and + keys). Furthermore, keep in mind that these shortcut keys may not work with all the languages & keyboard layouts. Additionally, if you are having issues with another browser except for Chrome, then try to use the shortcut of FN and Command/Ctrl and Period keys to superscript the text.

Solution 1: Update Your Browser to the Latest Build

Nearly all the browsers are updated regularly to add new features to pace with the technological advancements and patch the known bugs. You may encounter the error under discussion if you are using an outdated version of the browser because it may lead to compatibility issues between the browser and Google Docs. In this context, updating the browser to the latest build may solve the problem. We will discuss how to update Google Chrome; you may follow instructions pertinent to your browser to update it.

  1. Launch the Chrome browser and open its menu by clicking on 3 vertical ellipses (near the top right of the window). Now in the resulting menu, select Settings.
    Open Chrome Settings
  2. Now, click on About Chrome (in the left half of the window) and then update Chrome to the latest build.
    Update Chrome
  3. Then click on the Restart button and check if the issue is resolved.

Solution 2: Disable / Remove the Problematic Browser Extensions

Extensions are used to enhance the browser functionality and are part of nearly all the major browsers. However, you may encounter the issue at hand if any of your extensions are interfering in the operation of Google Docs. This can be very true if any of the extensions are using the same keyboard shortcut (Cmd/Ctrl + period) as used by Google Docs to superscript the text. In this scenario, either disabling/removing the problematic extensions or changing its keyboard shortcut may solve the problem. We will discuss how to disable/remove the problematic extensions of the Chrome browser.

  1. Launch the Chrome browser and near the 3 vertical ellipses, click on the Extensions icon. Now, in the resulting menu, click on Manage Extensions.
    Open Manage Extensions in Chrome
  2. Then, disable all the extensions by toggling the respective switch to the off position.
    Disable a Chrome Extension
  3. Now, check if the superscript shortcut is working fine for Google Docs. If so, then enable the extensions one by one till you find the problematic extension.

Usually, the issue is reported to be caused by the AdBlock extension. You can also check after exempting Google Docs in the settings of the AdBlock extension.

Pause AdBlock on Google Docs

Moreover, you can also change the default shortcut of the AdBlock extension by following the steps below:

  1. Launch the Chrome browser and in its address bar, type:
    chrome://extensions/shortcuts
  2. Then, under the AdBlock options, change the keyboard shortcut in the box of Toggle Pause/Resume of All Sites from something different as used by Google Docs.
Change the AdBlock Shortcut

If the issue persists, then try to reinstall the AdBlock extension.

Solution 3: Clear Cookies and Cache of Your Browser

Nearly, all the major browsers use cookies and cache to improve user experience and boost performance. The superscript (or its shortcut) might not work if the cookies or cache of the browser are corrupt. This is a very common occurrence and can happen in any situation. In this scenario, clearing them may solve the problem. For illustration, we will discuss the process of clearing cookies and cache of the Chrome browser.

  1. Launch Chrome and click on 3 vertical dots (three vertical ellipses) near the top right of the window. Now, in the resulting menu, hover your mouse over More Tools, and in the resulting sub-menu, click on Clear Browsing Data.
    Open Clear Browsing Data in Chrome
  2. Then, near the bottom of the window, click on Sign Out (if you just want to delete the Chrome data on the device but keep it in your Google account).
  3. Now, select the Time Range of All Time and all the categories. Then click on Clear Data and wait for its completion.
    Clear the Browsing Data of Chrome
  4. Now, relaunch Chrome and then check if Google Docs are working fine.

Solution 4: Reset Your Browser to the Default Settings

If none of the solutions was able to solve the issue at hand, then, most probably, one of the customized settings of your browser is the root cause of the issue. In this context, resetting your browser to the default settings may solve the problem. We will discuss how to reset Chrome’s settings to the defaults; you should follow the instructions specific to your browser. Before moving on, backup essential information/data of the browser/extensions.

  1. Launch the Chrome browser and open its menu by clicking on the three vertical dots near the top right of the screen.
  2. Now click on Settings and then expand the Advanced option (in the left half of the window).
    Click Reset and clean up in Chrome Advanced Settings
  3. Now click on Reset and Clean Up & then, in the right half of the window, select Restore Settings to Their Original Defaults.
    Restore Settings to Their Original Defaults
  4. Then, confirm to reset the settings and then relaunch the browser.
    Confirm to Restore Settings
  5. Upon relaunch, hopefully, the superscript problem is solved.

If the issue persists even after trying the above solutions, then instead of the keyboard shortcut, try to use the Format menu (Format > Text > Superscript) to make the text superscript until the issue is resolved.

Use the Format Menu to Superscript the Text
Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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Fix: Google Docs Superscript not Working

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