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I am writing math problems on my iMac and I am using TextEdit. I need to add exponents to one of my problems. How can I do that?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can superscript style any text by highlighting the text and then selecting Format -> Font -> Baseline -> Superscript from the menu in TextEdit.

It's not assigned to a keyboard shortcut by default. To assign it to a keyboard shortcut go to System Preferences -> Keyboard and click on the Keyboard Shortcuts tab. Select Application Shortcuts from the left hand list and press the + button button below the right hand list to add a new application-specific shortcut:

enter image description here

From the menu that pops up select TextEdit as the application (otherwise the shortcut will be made for all applications). For Menu Title enter Format->Font->Baseline->Superscript and for Keyboard Shortcut (assuming OS X 10.8 or higher). Put your cursor in the box and press the combination of keys you want to use for the shortcut (I used Cmd+Shift+= in my screen capture example):

enter image description here

Press Add button to store the shortcut. You might have to restart TextEdit for the shortcut to appear.

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Thanks! Will this work on all word-processing software? –  Abdullah Shafique Aug 24 '13 at 19:44
    
It's application specific. –  Ian C. Aug 25 '13 at 7:36

Modify the Press & Hold keys

For entering numbers in superscript (exponents), I prefer the Press & Hold method since it works in any app regardless of whether the app supports it (e.g. plain-text editors).

  1. Navigate to System/Library/Input Methods/PressAndHold.app/Contents/Resources/.

  2. Backup the Keyboard-en.plist file.

  3. Append the following to the Keyboard-en.plist file (before the closing </dict></plist>).

    <key>Roman-Accent-t</key>
    <dict>
        <key>Direction</key>
        <string>right</string>
        <key>Keycaps</key>
        <string>t ¹ ² ³ ⁴ ⁵ ⁶ ⁷ ⁸ ⁹ ⁰</string>
        <key>Strings</key>
        <string>t ¹ ² ³ ⁴ ⁵ ⁶ ⁷ ⁸ ⁹ ⁰</string>
    </dict>
    

Feel free to change the Roman-Accent-t to any character you wish, providing it does not already have Press & Hold keys assigned.

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One disadvantage of this method is that it may not look good with all fonts and you are limited to the characters you have put into the .plist. Exponents can have things other than numbers in them. –  Tom Gewecke Aug 25 '13 at 10:14

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