Exponents and typing have always had an interesting relationship. In this short guest post, computer-savvy minstrel Jera Wolfe (not his legal name) writes a quick explanation on how to type those out on a PC.
To use standard keyboard characters to express an exponential, you use the character “^” between the base and the exponent.
For example (The Hardy Weinburg Equation):
p² + 2pq + q² = 1
could be easier written:
p^2 + 2pq + q^2 = 1
Also, by holding down the ALT key, and typing out 0178 and then releasing the alt key after you finish hitting the keys it will produce a “²”. Use 0179 to create a ³. Any other values it’s best to use the method described above.
Note: You can only use the numkey pad to generate ascii numbers using ALT codes.
Special Note: Remember, depress the ALT key and keep it held, then type out each key individually, don’t try to hold them all down like ctrl+alt+delete. It’s hold ALT, and type 0 then 1 then 7 then 8 then release the alt key.
- How to Type English Alphabets with French Accents (socyberty.com)