Exponents, ⁰¹²³⁴⁵⁶⁷⁸⁹, are written to the right of their base numbers and a little higher. They are about half the height and about half the width of the base number, too.
Exponents are important to me. They and other special characters allow me to include factoring information and interesting number facts in every post I write. For example …
- 819 is a composite number.
- Prime factorization: 819 = 3 × 3 × 7 × 13, which can be written 819 = 3² × 7 × 13
- The exponents in the prime factorization are 2, 1, and 1. Adding one to each and multiplying we get (2 + 1)(1 + 1)(1 + 1) = 3 × 2 × 2 = 12. Therefore 819 has exactly 12 factors.
- Factors of 819: 1, 3, 7, 9, 13, 21, 39, 63, 91, 117, 273, 819
- Factor pairs: 819 = 1 × 819, 3 × 273, 7 × 117, 9 × 91, 13 × 63, or 21 × 39
- Taking the factor pair with the largest square number factor, we get √819 = (√9)(√91) = 3√91 ≈ 28.618176
1² + 2² + 3² + 4² + 5² + 6² + 7² + 8² + 9² + 10² + 11² + 12² + 13² = 819, making 819 the 13th square pyramidal number.
315² + 756² = 819² so 819 is the hypotenuse of a Pythagorean triple.
2⁹ + 2⁸ + 2⁵ + 2⁴ + 2¹ + 2⁰ = 819 because 819 is 1100110011 in BASE 2.
I like that pattern of 1’s and 0’s. Here are a few more of 819’s cool number patterns:
- 3⁶ + 3⁴ + 3² = 819 because 819 is 101010 in BASE 3.
- 3·4⁴ + 3·4² + 3·4⁰ = 819 because 819 is 30303 in BASE 4.
- 3·16² + 3·16¹ + 3·16º = 819 because 819 is 333 in BASE 16.
Okay. Enough about 819. HOW do we type exponents when we write a blog?
Option #1: WordPress gives us some special characters in the editor. I’ve put red boxes around the exponents so you can find them faster:
As you can see, the WordPress’s editor only offers us º ¹ ² ³ ª as exponents, and they MIGHT fill all your needs. (Who am I kidding?) You can get to any of the symbols shown above by clicking on the Ω symbol in YOUR WordPress editor. I’ve put a red box around the Ω special character symbol in the PICTURE of the editor below.
Those symbols are good if you’re writing x³ or even 8¹º³². But what if you want to write an expression with a 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9 as part of the exponent? Do you really have to settle for (2^7)×(3^5) when you really want to type 2⁷×3⁵? That carrot ^ symbol can look needlessly intimidating to people even if they are familiar with exponents.
So how do we type all those other exponents in WordPress? That is something I have been frustrated about and have googled about many times. I’ve read about and tried a couple more options: Superscripts and LaTeX.
Option #2 Superscripts: When I followed the superscripts’ directions for WordPress, and typed e<sup>xponents</sup> in the text editor as instructed, it made beautiful eˣᵖᵒⁿᵉⁿᵗˢ in the visual editor, but look at all these exponents marked in red, they fell down when I published this post (until I upgraded my WordPress theme). That was not acceptable. Thus depending on the theme used, some people may be able to get those superscripts to stay up, while others may not. On a related note: While writing this post I learned something useful about Microsoft Word. If you push down the Shift, Ctrl, and = keys at the same time, you can type in superscript in a Microsoft Word document. (You press the same keys to get out of superscript mode). Unfortunately, if you copy and paste that superscript writing into WordPress, they don’t stay up.
Option #3. LaTeX can be a great looking option. Still, when the exponents from the WordPress editor are typed alongside those in LaTeX, they can look a little wobbly: 2³ + + + 7² + . In addition, LaTeX looked like LaTeX notation instead of exponents when I tried to use it in the title of this post. The biggest drawback: LaTeX looks good when it’s published, but it is practically unreadable when it’s being typed. For example, without spaces, you must type [ latex ]2^4[ /latex ], just to get 2⁴. (If I took out the spaces it would read 2⁴ instead of showing you what LaTeX notation looks like.)
This week I found a good 4th option: Microsoft Word has quite a few exponents, and WordPress liked them!
I’ve gathered the superscripts of the English alphabet and numbers from Microsoft Word in one place and included them here for the convenience of all other bloggers, making this post a great 5th option. Copy what you need from here, or copy and paste the whole list into a handy document of your own. True, not every letter of the English alphabet is available as an exponent in Word, but most of them are. This is the method I used to include eˣᵖᵒⁿᵉⁿᵗˢ in the title of this post.
x⁰¹²³⁴⁵⁶⁷⁸⁹ᴬᵃᵅᴮᵇᶜᴰᵈᴱᵉᶠᴳᵍᴴʰᴵⁱᴶʲᴷᵏᴸᴹᵐᴺⁿᴼᵒᴾᵖᴿʳˢᵀᵗᵁᵘⱽᵛᵂʷˣʸᶻ ⁺ ⁻ ⁼ ⁽ ⁾ Those superscripts or exponents stay up! And…these subscripts stay down! ₉₈₇₆₅₄₃₂₁₀ ₊ ₋ ₌ ₍ ₎ aₐ eₑ jⱼ oₒ xₓ. Curiously, hₕ kₖ lₗ mₘ nₙ pₚ sₛ tₜ seem to stay down on home computers but disappear on smartphones so you might not want to use them.
Subscripts are often used in notation for Permutations like ₆P₃ or Combinations like ₆C₃. (Those links will take you to some useful online calculators.) Subscripts used with “⅟ ” can write infinitely many unit fractions like ⅟₃₂₁. Subscripts can also be used to write the base of logarithms such as log₂4=2.
Here’s a bonus, the Greek letters: Some of the Greek letters have superscripts and/or subscripts next to them, while others do not. For some reason unknown to me, Microsoft Word didn’t give π either one. (I could not have written this part of the post without zooming to 175% first. You might want to do that before using any of these, too.):
Ααᵅ, Ββᵝᵦ, Γ⸀γᵞᵧ, Δδᵟ, Εεᵋ, Ζᶻζ, Ηη, Θᶱθᶿ, Ιᶦιᶥ, Κκ, Λᶺλ, Μμ, Νᶰν, Ξξ, Οο, Ππ, Ρρ, Σσ, Ττ, Υυᶹ, Φᶲφᵠᵩ, Χχᵡᵪ, Ψψ, Ωω
Those exponents from Microsoft Word will allow you to write important identities like the following without using awkward LaTeX notation:
- sin t = (eⁱᵗ – e־ⁱᵗ)/2i
- cos t = (eⁱᵗ + e־ⁱᵗ)/2
Back to the 4th option, Microsoft Word does include some other incomplete alphabets from other languages that are not included in my lists above. Here’s what you’ll need to do to get subscripts or superscripts from Microsoft Word:
- In Microsoft Word click on “insert”,
- click on “symbol”,
- click on “symbol” (NOT “equation” because WordPress won’t copy anything you type there),
- click on “more symbols”.
- Next LOOK for the desired superscript or subscript on the chart. You may have to look for a while. Some of the them are listed together, while others seem to be randomly placed by themselves. For the alphabet, only use a letter that is in the top CENTER of its box. If you use a letter that is in the top LEFT of its box, you might end up typing something like 3 ͩͪ or 7ͪͫ.
- Type your expression in Word, then copy and paste it onto your blog.
So now you have been saved countless hours of frustration trying to type a few simple exponents or subscripts. Perhaps, now you can chance getting frustrated trying to solve this Level 5 puzzle?!
Print the puzzles or type the solution in this excel file: 12 factors 815-820
4 thoughts on “819 How to Type eˣᵖᵒⁿᵉⁿᵗˢ in WordPress”
Good to know. I’ve never needed to use exponents in WordPress so far. I didn’t imagine it would be a problem, as the HTML editor that WordPress uses allows superscripts, but WordPress in its wisdom appears to have removed this option from the editor.
I just tried the HTML hack you mentioned, using x, as that felt like the obvious solution, and it seemed to work for me. In what way did it not look right when you published?
The red word exponent in the post was typed using the “superscript HTML hack” in the text editor. As I stated it looked like “eˣᵖᵒⁿᵉⁿᵗˢ” in the visual editor but it looks like “exponents” in the published product. It obviously has worked for other people, but not for me. (That is, until I upgraded my WordPress theme.)
This is a mixed blessing. Firstly, I’m hugely grateful you’ve published this. The downside is I can’t think of anything I want to publish that requires it.
And you write so much about mathematics! Alright then. You may never use them, but if you ever do, it will be easy.☺