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How to go to next line within a cell in Excel (4 methods)

Author: Sun Last Modified: 2024-04-07

Excel spreadsheets are powerful tools for data organization and analysis, but sometimes, the data you're working with doesn't quite fit the standard single-line cell format. Whether you're compiling lists, creating detailed descriptions, or simply trying to make your spreadsheet more readable, inserting line breaks within cells can be a game-changer. This article explores various methods to insert and remove line breaks, enhancing the clarity and visual appeal of your Excel documents.

Go to the Next Line Within a Cell by Using Shortcuts (Manually)

Insert line breaks within a cell by applying Wrap Text (Automatically)

Replace a specific separator with a new line within a cell by Find and Replace (Batch operation)

Combine texts and display multiline text within a single cell by using formulas

Remove line breaks from cells

Go to the Next Line Within a Cell by Using Shortcuts (Manually)


Inserting a line break manually within a cell allows you to control exactly where the text wraps, making specific entries more readable.

Step 1: Double-click the cell in which you want to insert a line break

Or select the cell and then press F2 key.

Step 2: Click the location inside the selected cell where you want to break the line
Step 3: Using shortcuts to insert a line break
  • Windows Shortcuts: Press Alt + Enter keys
  • MacOS Shortcuts: Press Command + Option + Return keys

A line break has been inserted at the position of the cursor.

Multiple line breaks in a cell require repeating step 2 and step 3

  1. After inserting a line break, you may need to manually adjust the row height to display all content if you have adjusted the row height previously.

  2. Inserting a line break automatically activates Wrap Text for the cell. If the line break doesn't appear to take effect, verify that Wrap Text is enabled.

Insert Line Breaks Within a Cell by Applying Wrap Text (Automatically)


To maintain column width consistency while allowing data to occupy multiple lines within a cell, use the Wrap Text feature.

Step 1: Select the cells where you want to apply Wrap Text
Step 2: Navigate to the Home tab, locate the Alignment group, and click Wrap Text


Text in the selected cells will now automatically break to fit the column width.

Replace a specific separator with a new line within a cell by Find and Replace (Batch operation)


For datasets with a consistent separator (e.g., commas or semicolons), you can replace these separators with line breaks in bulk.

Step 1: Select the cells that you want to add new line into
Step 2: Open Find and Replace dialog and set up options.

Press Ctrl + H to open the Find and Replace dialog, then follow steps below to set up:

  1. In the "Find what" field, input the separator, in this case, I input a comma (,) followed a space ( ).

  2. In "Replace with" field, enter Ctrl + J to input a carriage return, effectively substituting each comma with a line break and eliminating the commas.

  3. Select Replace All button to apply changes across all selected cells.

  4. Then a dialog pops out for telling the number of replacements, click OK. And close the dialog.


Before and after screenshots can vividly illustrate the transformation.

Combine texts and display multiline text within a single cell by using formulas


If you're merging data from various cells and need each segment to begin on a new line, employing a formula is the most effective method for incorporating carriage returns.

In Microsoft Excel, the CHAR function is specifically designed for inserting characters into cells. For Windows users, the character code for a line break is 10, thus CHAR(10) is utilized. For Mac users, CHAR(13) is utilized.

When combining values from different cells, you have the option to use either the CONCATENATE function or the concatenation operator (&). Utilizing the CHAR function allows you to seamlessly integrate line breaks between segments.

The basic formulas you can use are:

  • Generic Formula: "Text line 1" & CHAR(10) & "Text line 2"
  • TEXTJOIN for Excel 365 and Later: TEXTJOIN(CHAR(10), TRUE, "Text line 1", "Text line 2")

Here we show a specific example for clarity:

Assuming the first name in A2 and last name B2, using formula to combine them in to a cell with a line break as separator, please do as these:

Step 1: Select a cell to place the formula
Step 2: Using one of formulas below to combine
  • &:




Step 3: Drag auto fill handle over the cells which need the formula

Now the two cells are merged, but the combinations are in one line.

Step 4: Enable Wrap Text feature.

Keep the cells are selected, select Wrap Text under Home tab, and the multiple lines are appeared.

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Remove line breaks from cells

To streamline data and remove unnecessary line breaks, here we introduce a formula.

Generic formula: =SUBSTITUTE(text,CHAR(10),"the seperator")

Select a cell that will locate the result without line breaks, and type the formula below:


Press Enter key to get the result.

Incorporating line breaks within Excel cells not only makes your data more digestible but also allows for a level of detail and nuance that standard cells lack. Whether manually inputting breaks, utilizing Wrap Text, performing batch operations with Find and Replace, or crafting multi-line text with formulas, these strategies will empower you to present your data exactly as needed. Remember, removing line breaks is just as straightforward, ensuring your spreadsheets remain adaptable and tailored to your current needs.

For more game-changing Excel strategies that can elevate your data management, explore further here.

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