If you want to insert a new line (line break) into an Excel cell, the simplest way is to press:

ALT + Enter

Note: Before pressing this key combination, you must be in edit mode in the cell, with your curser positioned at the point where you want the new line to be inserted.

Use Formulas to Insert a New Line

When working with Excel formulas you can insert a new line into an Excel cell using the Excel CHAR function. The line break character is represented by character number 10. Therefore, a new line can be inserted into a cell using the function:


The example below uses the & operator and the Char function to insert a line break between two text strings:

  A B C
1 Formula Result  
2 =”John Adams” & CHAR(10) & “88 Easy Street” John Adams
88 Easy Street

Formatting Cells to Display a New Line

For a line break to be displayed in an Excel cell, the Wrap Text option must be enabled. In Excel (2007 and later, this can be controlled by the Wrap Text button, which is located under the Home tab in the ‘Alignment’ section.

The Wrap Text option is also available in the Format Cells dialog box. Therefore, if you have an older versions of Excel, which does not have the shortcut button, you can access the option as follows:

  • Right click on the cell, using the mouse
  • Select the option Format Cells … from the right mouse-click menu
  • Select the Alignment tab from the dialog box that pops up
  • Check the box next to the Wrap text option and click OK