Superscript numbers are in most cases used as reference signs for footnotes. It was not until the 17th century that footnotes were used as annotations in printed text. In this early period of footnotes, these were not yet printed as superscript numbers in the text.
Normally the footnote consists of a superscript reference character which is given at a specific point in the text and the respective explanatory text appears at the bottom of the page. End notes can also be introduced this way. However, the referenced text appears at the end of the entire text or of a closed section (e.g. chapter).
Furthermore, superscript numbers are used for referencing marginal notes. The marginal note appears at the right or left outer margin depending on the binding of the printed page.
In addition, superscript numbers are used in mathematics for exponentials.
These numerals are transribed as a specific superscript number with the respective Unicode hexadecimal entity.