New lines in an Excel cell

| | Comments (104)

I just figured out how to enter a new line in an Excel cell. The trick is to use Alt+Enter to create a new line. Also, when you do that, Excel automatically enables text wrap for the cell.

Windows: Alt+Enter
Mac: Hold down apple key + Option + Enter
(Thanks to Tex and Andy for the Mac tip)

Tips List
Alt+Enter: Enter new line in a cell
F2: Edit a cell

Originally posted: 2005-05-02
Last updated: 2011-01-13



Harry Wood said:

Thanks Bobby. It works!

AartJ said:

How such a simple posting can save a day! :-) Thanks, Bobby.

jpcansa said:

and how to remove a new line in all the cells of a entore column?

Joe said:

A simple post that can save a lot of work. Goood Post Bobby. Thanks.

Tammy said:

I guess it works for Windows, but how about when using an eMac? This would help a bunch!

Mai said:

I knew there was a way! Thanks!

Adnan said:

Thanks, dude!

Mihai said:

easy way to save the day!

Ray said:

This was annoying me so much...THANK YOU!

Suresh said:

Life saving..
Thanks a ton..

Tex said: far as i know..on mac, hold down Option with either ctrl or apple key and then press the should get the same thing..

Lila said:

I've always wanted to know how to do that! How perfect!

Tom said:

I love you. Seriously. I do.

mann said:

cool, thx a lot

Rudy said:

Radical dude!!

Riccardo said:

Great! Thanks. MS Excel Help does not help.

elma said:

amesegnalehu, anta akuay.
you saved my ...

Sarang said:

Dude...I love you!

dude said:

Dude, i needed this feature also, cause my boss does not know how to read. Life sucks and I wished I was dead. But hey anyway thanks.

elena said:

many thanks for this. has been trying literally for years to figure how to do that :)

John said:

I know alot about excel, but didn't know that one! Thanks for the tip!

sam said:

Two tumbs up!

John said:

Thats great!

BuckofromBruthen said:

Hi Bobby,

Looks like you have been imortalised. I think you will get hits on this blog for the rest of the century. Thanks heaps

Stephan said:

Thank you,

This issue has been bugging me for some time now.

Tony said:

CTRL+ALT+ENTER may also be required (instead) in some versions of OSX and Excel in order to enter lines within cells.

Kirit said:

Just great...I previously used spacebar key to go to the new line and it was very frustrating...Thank you very much!

Surya said:

Thanks! just what I was looking for!

Excel Novice said:

Thanks Bobby - you're my Excel hero!

Sachin Sharma said:

Thanks a lot for this. Saved a lot of time for me :)

Rocko said:

Thanks, great info :)
Small, but very helpful.

diablomx said:

Lol you saved the day, thanks :) Damn excel.

Lalal said:


Prasanth said:

\"Excel\"lent Bobby!

iva said:

you guys are all funny. This is basic functionality - look in Excel help, Keyboard shortcuts. Spend 10 min and it\'ll save you a lot more.

Gary said:

Merci! I am dying for it!

kamnan said:

Thanks dude. This is a great help.

Sajjad said:

Great tip, I had been looking for it for so long.

Jordan said:

Saved the day, thanks.

Prerana said:

Very helpful

billhates said:

thanks man.. this problem was killing me for long time. Stupid Micrsoft!

Jacob said:

Thanks! Very useful.


Adumb said:

Thanks a ton Bobby! You have no idea how much this was annoying the hell outta me... :D

ruth said:

if \"iva\" uses Help so much, I wonder why she/he is reading this.

Micheria said:

Thanks alot! I was trying to figure that out for my job project.

Bjorn said:

Exactly what I needed! Thanks!

Lars said:

Truly appreciated, i have been trying to find this out for ever.

Thanks from Sweden

TJ said:

Wow...I am so glad I googled this. Thanks for the tip. I spent 2 hours trying to find the feature in Excel. Will use keyboard tips in the future.

Qasim said:

Thanks a lot, it came as first result of google :). Thanks a lot again!!!!!!!!

koyan said:

Thanks a million, you\'re a lifesaver!

bala said:

wasted one hour in excel help doc

waht said:

Thanks you!

Mike said:

Your a legend! thx

Andy said:

On a mac you need to hold down the apple key and press option then press enter.

Will said:

I LOVE YOU!!!! Thanks

Colin said:

Thank you! This has made my life much sunnier.

Polo said:

Can you imagine just how many people have been helped by this such a simple and single explanation. Not every one replies with a Thank you post. Wonder if Microsoft\'s complex minds would someday provide answers in such a straight way instead of going through 7 or 8 wizzard steps.

Paul said:

Micro$oft help was pretty useless (online and offline). Wth Bobby, 4 years down the line your blog is STILL helpin folks! Now THAT\'S a good reason for keeping the internet free

Aaron said:

Thanks, this is a very helpful tip.

Novin said:

Bang on the target!
Saved my day!
Thank You!

Nvrijn said:

My hero!

Lucy said:

Thanks so much. I\'m using a Mac (and fairly new to it) and couldn\'t figure it out for the life of me!

Mansour said:

woowwwww.........thank yoooo
it is great, I have been looking and asking how to do it...yoo cool dude

Fonzy said:

Man Oh Man...
You know, there is Microsoft (with their online help blabla) and there is you (one line is worth more than ... whatever!!! you know what I mean)...


Usman said:

Great job done...
You blog is 5 years old and still very helpful.

Abdiel said:

Thanks bob. That helps a lot.

Shan said:

Wow,. This is a time saver for me! :D

Mike said:

Great help. Thanks Bob.

Anthony said:

You da man, cheers Bob!

Brilva said:

Thanks Bob!

Qlexander said:

Just what I needed! Cheers man.

Znuter said:

haha lol.
Thanks from me too :)_

lipolkguy said:

Thanks, you are the man!!

panos said:


PottyBoy said:

Thank you so much for the tip!
Tried both Ctrl+Enter and Shift+Enter but not Alt+Enter. :0

Jackov said:

5 years later and it\'s still a sweet tip!

David Kaspar said:

Sweet, works like a charm. Keep it up bobby!

I tried everything except alt+enter. :(

Chris said:

Thanks dude!

Lora said:

Thanks, you are God-sent.

Sandra said:

Thank you! I tried Shift and Ctrl and Enter and Alt, but not alt+enter.

Jess said:

you rock!! thankyou! I\'ve never tried alt, only shift.

Nadir said:

Life saver!
Thanks :)

Varadha said:

It crashes the ego when we all think that we know a lot in Excel. Even after 5 years of this post, this comes as the first thing when googled. Though I had only came across such a need today, your blog helped me not to spend too much time to figure it out. Great....Thanks a ton....

Adomas said:

Thank you thank you thank you thank you!!!!

rome ma said:

Thanks Dude

This is why hummankind created the World Wide Web. Excel Help was useless but Bobby Maisnam is a deep hero (and a hat tip to the other Andy with the Macintosh tip). Now we can go back to our creative lives and love.

Jim said:

Thanks! You helped out a marketing dept in Lake Forest, CA!

You go dude.

Ravi said:

Thanks Dude

For Open office users ...

In Open Office Org Calc,
Ctrl+Enter : to enter new line in a cell


Matt said:

Thanks for this!

Awesome! Still useful more than 5 years after posting.

Chris said:

Just googled this and you're answer came straight up. Awesome, Thankyou!


Thanks for the tip it just saved my job lol.

GrahamO said:

Bloody amazing. This has been a bug for me for many years. Good on Google. Many thanks

Zul nine said:

Thanks for the tip. Keep up the good work.

ofenby said:

Thanks for adding the Mac instruction. Been looking for this everywhere!!!

Pete said:

Hallelujah! A thousand thanks!

Mary said:

From 'Down Under' : love ya

aaslam said:

Thanks lot bobby, from 2005 onwards still your post looking very young...long way to go....cheersup

Vijay said:

Excellent!!! it definitely made my day.
thanks Bobby

weng said:

Thank you so much! :D

Nancy said:

Thanks much Bobby!

Fred said:

I first learned how to do this years ago, but hadn't had a chance to use it so I promptly forgot. Thanks for refreshing my memory.

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