How to Write Fractions in Google Docs

297585 How to Write Fractions in Google Docs

Google Docs is a popular free online word processor that allows you to create documents and collaborate with others in real time. While it has many of the basic formatting options you would expect in a word processor, like changing font sizes, colors, and text alignment, it also supports more advanced functionality like adding equations and fractions.

Here are some of the main ways to write fractions in Google Docs:

Use the Auto Formatting Feature

Google Docs can automatically format certain fractions when you type them with a forward slash. For example, if you type:


And hit space or enter, it will convert to:


This works for common fractions like 1⁄4, 1⁄2, 3⁄4, etc. However, it does not support more complex or improper fractions.


  • Quick and easy for common fractions
  • Formats them properly as you type


  • Limited to only certain basic fractions
  • Can be confusing if you don’t expect the auto conversion

Insert Fractions with the Equation Tool

For more control and flexibility for writing fractions, use the built-in equation editor:

  1. Click Insert > Equation
  2. Select the fraction format you want
  3. Customize the numerator and denominator


  • Supports any type of fraction including mixed numbers and improper fractions
  • Full control over the fraction formatting


  • More steps involved compared to auto formatting
  • Have to manually insert each fraction

Use Superscript and Subscript Formatting

You can build fractions manually using superscript and subscript text formatting:

  1. Type the numerator
  2. Highlight it and click Format > Text > Superscript
  3. Type a slash (/)
  4. Type the denominator
  5. Highlight it and click Format > Text > Subscript


  • Gives you flexibility if auto formatting is turned off
  • Works for any fraction


  • Time consuming to format each fraction manually
  • Easy to forget a step and format incorrectly

Use Markdown Code Blocks

Since Google Docs supports some markdown formatting, you can build fractions using markdown syntax:


Renders as:



  • Simple syntax similar to LaTeX
  • Renders properly without extra steps


  • Limited markdown support in Google Docs
  • Most people aren’t familiar with this syntax

Use Unicode Fractions

You can insert special Unicode fraction characters directly:

1⁄4 1⁄2 3⁄4


  • Displays properly without any extra formatting
  • Works for some common fractions


  • Limited set of available fraction characters
  • Have to manually copy/paste special characters

Fix Issues with Fraction Formatting

Sometimes fractions can look incorrectly formatted when printing or converting to PDFs. To fix this:

  • Try converting the Google Doc to PDF – fractions render better
  • Make sure font supports fraction characters
  • Manually adjust numerator and denominator position


Writing fractions properly in Google Docs requires some special formatting but has good support through automatic formatting, equation editors, superscripts, and Unicode fractions. The easiest way is to let Google Docs automatically format simple fractions as you type. For precise control over fraction formatting, use the equation editor. With a few simple tricks, you can write mathematical expressions involving fractions without issues.