When you need to type a figure in square meters, it’s best to use superscript so it’s displayed properly, either in a word processor or online.

How to get superscript in Word

In any version of Microsoft Word, type m2, then highlight the 2. Now press and hold Ctrl and Shift, then press the + key and it will be changed to superscript and will look like this: m2.

The Ctrl-Shift-+ shortcut actually toggles the cursor between superscript and normal text, so you don’t need to first type the 2, select it and apply the superscript.

How to get the square meter symbol anywhere

This shortcut won’t work if you’re typing a comment on a forum or in another app, so the other way is to use your keyboard’s numeric keypad. That’s the one on the right-hand side of the keyboard.

Hold down Alt and key in 0178 and let go of Alt. A superscript 2 will appear.

Incidentally, if you needed ‘cubed’ instead of ‘squared’ then type 0179 and you’ll get a superscript 3.

In fact, this will work anywhere in Windows or online – even in Word.

Here's how to get a £ or € sign.

Copy and paste from Character Map

If your keyboard doesn’t have a numeric keypad, you can’t simply use the number keys in the top row. Instead, open Windows’ Character Map and copy the relevant character – in this case a superscript 2.

How to type m2 for square metres

From the Start menu, choose Run and then type charmap. (You can just type this in the Windows 10 search box next to the Start button).

Character Map will open and display many characters. Click on the one you want, then click Select and then copy.

Return to the web page and place the cursor where you need the character and press Ctrl-V to paste it.

Here's how to get the degree symbol using the same techniques.