Insert Line Break in Excel (Shortcut)

There are occasions when we need to display different parts of a text string on different lines within the same Excel cell.

For instance, we often enter the city and country of the address in separate lines when entering it into an Excel worksheet.

Line break in a cell in Excel
Example where state name and country name are in separate lines in the same cell (done using line break)

You can complete your work more quickly if you know the Excel shortcut for inserting line breaks.

In this short lesson, I’ll teach you how to easily insert line breaks in Excel using a keyboard shortcut.

Shortcut to Insert Line Break in Excel

Below is the keyboard shortcut to insert a line break in Excel:

ALT + Enter (for Windows)



How to Use the Keyboard Shortcut

Below are the steps to use the above keyboard shortcut to insert line breaks in an Excel file:

  1. Get the cell you wish to place the line break into edit mode. You can do this by double-clicking on that cell or by selecting it and pressing F2.
  2. Place the cursor where you want to insert the line break.
  3. Press the Enter key while holding the ALT key.
Also read: Alt + Enter Not Working in Excel

Important Things to Know

Below are some important things to know when using a shortcut to insert line breaks in Excel:

  1. Format the cell to “Wrap Text” if all text strings appear as a single line even after you insert a line break. The “Wrap Text” icon is in the Home tab’s alignment group.
  2. Right side ALT key + Enter key may not always insert a line break in Excel on some PCs. Then try “Left side ALT key + Enter key” as a keyboard shortcut.
  3. If you need to place a line break for a large number of cells, you can use a different shortcut. For instance, you can use Excel’s “Find and Replace” function to insert line breaks for each place where a comma appears for a large number of cells. First, select all of the cells. Then press “Ctrl + H”. In the “Find what:” box, type a comma. Hold the cursor in the “Replace with:” box and press “Control + J”. Click the “Replace All” button.

Advantages of Using Line Breaks in Excel

Here are some advantages of using line breaks in Excel:

  • Improve readability by splitting lengthy texts into smaller chunks
  • Save space by displaying multiple lines within a single cell
  • Enhance the overall appearance of your worksheet
  • Make it easier to understand complex data and formulas

So next time you’re working on a spreadsheet, try incorporating line breaks to enhance your data organization and presentation, making the worksheet easier for both you and others to read and comprehend.

Line Break (Carriage Return) Shortcut not Working in Excel

Occasionally, you may encounter issues when using keyboard shortcuts to insert line breaks.

The most common problem arises when the “wrap text” option is not enabled.

To fix this, use the below steps:

  1. Select the cell(s) containing line breaks.
  2. Click the “Home” tab in Excel.
  3. Click the “Wrap Text” button within the Alignment group.

When the “wrap text” option is enabled, your inserted line breaks should display correctly within the cell.

Remember, by mastering these keyboard shortcuts, you’ll be able to increase your productivity and organize your Excel data more effectively.

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I am a huge fan of Microsoft Excel and love sharing my knowledge through articles and tutorials. I work as a business analyst and use Microsoft Excel extensively in my daily tasks. My aim is to help you unleash the full potential of Excel and become a data-slaying wizard yourself.

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