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How to force or auto line break within an Excel cell?

There are instances when the text you want to place in an Excel cell is too long, causing it to extend beyond the cell boundaries, creating an untidy appearance. In such cases, you can insert a line break to display the entire string within the cell, as shown in the screenshot below.

Adding line break


In this section, we will introduce three different methods for inserting line breaks. You can choose the one that best suits your needs.

Forcing a Line Break Within a Cell Using Shortcuts

You can easily force a line break within an Excel cell by utilizing keyboard shortcuts. Here's how:

  1. Position the cursor at the location within the cell where you want to insert a line break.

  2. Press and hold the Alt key on your keyboard. Then press the Enter key. A line break is inserted after the position of the cursor.

  3. Then repeat above steps to insert the line breaks one by one.

  4. And after all line breaks are inserted, click the another cell to show the result.

Auto Line Break Within a Cell Using the Wrap Text Feature

If you prefer an automated approach to add line breaks within cells, Excel offers the Wrap Text feature. Here's how to use it:

  1. Select the cells in which you want to automatically add line breaks.

  2. Go to the Home tab in the Excel ribbon, find and click on the Wrap Text button. It's usually located in the Alignment group.

    Once activated, the Wrap Text function will automatically add line breaks within the selected cells, adjusting the text to fit the column width.

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    Add a Line Break After a Specific Character Using the Find and Replace Feature

    Sometimes, you may want to insert a line break after a specific character in a cell. For example, inserting line breaks after a comma. Excel's Find and Replace feature can help you achieve this. Here's the process:

    1. Select the cell or cells containing the text where you want to add a line break after a specific character. Press Ctrl + H on your keyboard to open the Find and Replace dialog box.

    2. In the Find what field, type the specific character after which you want to insert the line break.

    3. In the Replace with field, type the same character followed by Ctrl + J. The "Ctrl + J" combination represents a line break character.

    4. Click the Replace All button. A dialog pops out for reminding you how many replacement are done. Click OK > Close to close dialogs.

      Excel will replace all instances of the specified character with the character and line break combination.

      If your results appear incomplete, it may be due to the row height limiting the content display. You can manually adjust the row height to make it automatically adjust to the content.

    Removing line break

    If you need to remove a line break within a cell, you can do so with these steps:

    >> Remove specific line breaks
    1. Double-click on the cell containing the text with the line break to enter the cell for editing. Place your cursor at the end of the line before the line break.

    2. Press the Delete key on your keyboard to remove the line break.

    3. Press Enter to confirm the change.

      Repeat above steps to delete line breaks one by one.

    >> Remove all line breaks in a cell or a range of cells
    1. Select the cell or the cells you want to remove all line breaks.

    2. Go to the Home tab in the Excel ribbon, find and click on the Wrap Text button. It's usually located in the Alignment group.

      While clicking on the Wrap Text feature, all line breaks in the selection are removed.

    The insights shared above outline methods to add and remove line breaks in Excel. I trust this information serves you well. For more game-changing Excel strategies that can elevate your data management, explore further here..

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