The Mathematical Symbol "Superscript Two (²)"

The "Superscript Two" (²)

The ² symbol represents the number two in superscript form. It's most commonly used to denote "squared" or the power of two in mathematical notation.

Common Uses of ²

The ² symbol is prevalent in mathematics, physics, and engineering. Some of its primary applications include:

  • Mathematics: Indicating that a number or a variable is raised to the power of two. For instance, \(x²\) represents \(x\) squared.
  • Physics: Used in formulas to represent units squared, such as in area measurements where units might be expressed in meters squared (m²).
  • Typography: In general writing, the ² symbol can be used to denote footnotes or references when more than one is needed on a single page or section.


Here are some examples of how the ² might be used:

  1. The area of a square with side length \(a\) is given by \(A = a²\).
  2. In physics, the formula for gravitational potential energy near the Earth's surface is \( U = mgh \), where \( g \) is approximately \(9.81 \text{ m/s}² \) – the acceleration due to gravity.
  3. In a document, a statement might have a reference mark as "Statement 1²," where the superscript two denotes the second footnote or reference related to "Statement 1."

Typing ²

In HTML and web design, the ² entity allows the display of the superscript two symbol, especially useful when mathematical notation is required. In word processors, a superscript function can be used to achieve the same effect.


The ² symbol, while simple, plays a crucial role in various academic and professional fields, particularly in mathematics and science. Its primary function is to indicate that a number or unit is raised to the power of two, but its applications can vary depending on the context.

Mathematical symbol 'Superscript Two'

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Codes for the ² Symbol

The Symbol²
Alt CodeAlt 178
HTML Code²
HTML Entity²
CSS Code\00B2
Hex Code²

How To Insert the ² Symbol

(Method 1) Copy and paste the symbol.

The easiest way to get the ² symbol is to copy and paste it into your document.

Bear in mind that this is a UTF-8 encoded character. It must be encoded as UTF-8 at all stages (copying, replacing, editing, pasting), otherwise it will render as random characters or the dreaded �.

(Method 2) Use the "Alt Code."

If you have a keyboard with a numeric pad, you can use this method. Simply hold down the Alt key and type 178. When you lift the Alt key, the symbol appears. ("Num Lock" must be on.)

(Method 3) Use the HTML Decimal Code (for webpages).

HTML TextOutput
<b>My symbol: &#178;</b>My symbol: ²

(Method 4) Use the HTML Entity Code (for webpages).

HTML TextOutput
<b>My symbol: &sup2;</b>My symbol: ²

(Method 5) Use the CSS Code (for webpages).

CSS and HTML TextOutput
span:after {
content: "\00B2";}
<span>My symbol:</span>
My symbol: ²

(Method 6) Use the HTML Hex Code (for webpages and HTML canvas).

HTML TextOutput
<b>My symbol: &#x00B2;</b>My symbol: ²
On the assumption that you already have your canvas and the context set up, use the Hex code in the format 0x00B2 to place the ² symbol on your canvas. For example:
JavaScript Text
const x = "0x"+"E9"
ctx.fillText(String.fromCodePoint(x), 5, 5);


(Method 7) Use the Unicode (for various, e.g. Microsoft Office, JavaScript, Perl).

The Unicode for ² is U+00B2. The important part is the hexadecimal number after the U+, which is used in various formats. For example, in Microsoft Office applications (e.g. Word, PowerPoint), do the following:
[Hold down Alt]
[Press x]
(The 00B2 turns into ². Note that you can omit any leading zeros.)
In JavaScript, the syntax is \uXXXX. So, our example would be \u00B2. (Note that the format is 4 hexadecimal characters.)
JavaScript TextOutput
let str = "\u00B2"
document.write("My symbol: " + str)
My symbol: ²