How to Write H2O In Google Docs

231211 How to Write H2O In Google Docs

Google Docs is a popular word processing software that allows you to create documents online. It has extensive formatting options, including the ability to write chemical formulas like H2O. Here is a guide on how to write H2O and other chemical formulas in Google Docs:

Use Subscripts for Atoms

To write H2O in Google Docs:

  1. Type “H”
  2. Highlight “2” and click the subscript button in the formatting toolbar (or Ctrl + ,) to make it a subscript
  3. Type “O”

The result will be H2O with the “2” as a subscript. This formats the two hydrogen atoms appropriately.



You can use the same process to create any chemical formula with subscripts, like CO2, NaOH, etc.

Use Superscripts for Charges

Sometimes chemical formulas also have a superscripted number after them to indicate the ionic charge. To add a superscript:

  1. Type the chemical formula
  2. Highlight the charge number
  3. Click the superscript button (or Ctrl + .)



Use LaTeX for More Complex Formulas

For more complex chemical formulas with bonds, brackets, or special formatting, you can use LaTeX code:

  1. Go to Insert > Equation
  2. Type your formula in LaTeX format
  3. When done, click the check mark to insert

LaTeX Examples:



Advantages of LaTeX:

  • Supports bonds (_{}), brackets ([]), and other special characters
  • Automatically sizes and positions elements
  • Looks professional and clear

Note: You need to have LaTeX enabled in your Google Docs editor preferences to use this option.

Use the Molecular Formula Add-On (Optional)

An even easier way to insert chemical formulas is to use the “Molecular Formula” add-on.

With this add-on installed:

  1. Click Add-ons > Molecular Formula
  2. Search for your formula
  3. Click ‘Insert’ to add it to your document

The add-on has a database of common chemicals and formats them nicely. However, it may not support more complex or custom formulas.

Use the Formatting Toolbar

When typing chemical formulas, make use of text formatting options on the toolbar:

  • Bold – Use for element symbols
  • Italic – Use for numerical variables like n, t, etc.
  • Strikethrough – Use to correct incorrect chemical terms
  • Underline – Use to highlight key parts of long formulas
  • Code – Use for quantum states like 1s, 2p, etc.

These can help distinguish different parts of complex formulas.

Common Rules and Tips

Keep these chemistry rules in mind:

  • Element symbols are always capitalized: Na, He, Mg, etc.
  • Subscripts represent the atom counts in compounds/molecules
  • Use parentheses to group parts of formulas: Ca(NO3)2
  • Add states of matter in parentheses: H2O(l)
  • Hyphens (-) represent chemical bonds between atoms
  • Arrows right (->) or left (<-) represent chemical reactions


2H_2 + O_2 -> 2H_2O

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