Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a formula in Excel that evaluates the l_x's (number of lives aged x) in mortality data:

=IF(J3>J2,"l_x increased",IF(J3/J2-1>=devianceThreshold,"Deviance too high",""))

Accross the spreadsheet I refer to the l_x's as lx, where the x is a subscript.

When I press CTRL + SHIFT + F, nothing happens.

Is there a way to make the x a subscript in a formula, like the one above?

It's not a big deal if it can't be done, but nevertheless it would be nice, from an aesthetic point of view.

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can't set sub-cell formatting in a formula cell, as far as I know. You could use the Unicode character U+2093 (Latin Subscript Small Letter X: ₓ), which seems to render OK in Calibri or Arial (Excel 2010, Windows 7). There is a Unicode block dedicated to superscripts and subscripts.

I just realised this has the advantage of not changing the Excel row height as well. Bonus!

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.