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HTML Superscript: Using sup Tags

Reading time 1 min
Published Jun 29, 2017
Updated Oct 11, 2019

HTML Superscript: Main Tips

  • The text between <sup> tags is converted to HTML superscript.
  • HTML superscript occupies half the usual character space and has a raised baseline.
  • You must include both opening and closing HTML superscript tags.
  • The <sup> tag does not have specific attributes, but supports global ones.

Using the sup Tag

By surrounding inline text with <sup> tags, you can make it look as superscript in HTML:

Example
<p>The following is <sup>superscript</sup>.</p>

You should only use superscript in HTML for typographical reasons, such as:

  • superior lettering
  • ordinal numbers
  • exponents
Example
<!--This is superior lettering in French language:-->
  <p>1<sup>er</sup>,  N<sup>ième</sup>, XVI<sup>e</sup> siècle</p>
<!--These are ordinal numbers:-->
  <p>1<sup>st</sup>,  2<sup>nd</sup>, 3<sup>rd</sup></p>
<!--These are exponents:-->
  <p>2<sup>2</sup>, 3<sup>3</sup>, 5<sup>5</sup></p>

In other cases, use CSS styling properties instead of HTML superscript:

Example
span {
    vertical-align: super;
    font-size: smaller;
}

Tip: learn how to add additional CSS modifications in the CSS Fonts tutorial.

Browser support

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Chrome
All
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Edge
All
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Firefox
1+
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IE
All
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Opera
All
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Safari
All

Mobile browser support

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Chrome
All
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Firefox
4+
Browser image
Opera
All
Browser image
Safari
All