Changing default Subscript Font and Size

I hope that this is not a repeat question, I have attempted to find the answer but to no avail.

When I use superscript the size of the font is same size of my default font. Is there a way to make the superscript smaller by default, instead of having to manually change it?

Thank you in advance!


Unfortunately not - this is just how superscript works in the OS X text system. One thing you could do is set up a formatting preset (via Format > Formatting menu) for superscript that uses superscript and a smaller font, and another formatting preset for your regular font. Then just use these presets instead of turning superscript on and off.

All the best,


I’m not even sure how to change the font to a subscript or superscript in the first place. I like how you can set up a key to quickly do this, but I don’t know how to even find the stupid sub/ superscript.

I’m a copywriter by trade and this assignment uses a lot of chemical formulas. Can anyone help me find how to find the sub/ superscript font? I don’t see it in the “font” box.


Superscript and subscript are on the Format > Font > Baseline submenu. You can add shortcuts to them in System Preferences in the normal way.

If you want to change the size as per the original question, you’ll need to use the formatting presets. This takes a bit of setting up, but once you’ve done that, should be fairly easy to use.

In any document (doesn’t matter which, because this is just part of the set up), type a formula… we’ll take water as an example.

Type “H” in the format (font, size, colour etc) you want and highlight it. Select Format > Formatting > New Preset from Selection.
This bring up the New Style dialogue. Give it a name (I’ll use FormulaDefault).
Select “Save character attributes” from the drop down list and tick ‘include font’ and ‘include font size’.

Next, highlight the ‘2’. Make it a subscript (see first paragraph of this post), then press cmd-T to bring up the font dialogue box and change the font size to whatever you want. One the 2 looks the way you want it to, select Format > Formatting > New Preset from Selection once again – call it FormulaSub. Select the same options as before.

If you now go to the Format > Formatting > Apply Preset menu you’ll see both your new preset format styles. These will persist into any new documents and projects until you delete or amend the preset.

You can now open System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts, and apply shortcuts to the presets.

You’ll now be able to type H [shortcut to FormulaSub] 2 [shortcut to FormulaDefault] O etc

You can of course use the same process for superscripts by choosing Format > Font > Baseline > Superscript.

Hope this helps.


An alternative route, which might help you in other applications than Scrivener is setting up a substitution code either through the pane on the languages and text in system preferences, or using TextExpander or the like if you use one of them.

You will find the superscript and subscript glyphs on the character viewer at Unicode U=2070 and on. To see how to get at that, if you don’t know already, go to

The “Font variation” area at lower right shows you exactly which fonts on your system support those glyphs.

I also imagine, from what you say, that you may possibly run into the same problem as lizardcub sometimes regarding line-breaks following decimal points, and if so, the Word-joiner may be your friend too.