How to add line breaks in Microsoft Excel

There are several ways to add line breaks in Excelalthough neither of them are obvious solutions. As with most problems in the Excel, there are actually several ways to accomplish this. We’ll look at three different ways to add line breaks.

Add a line break

To add a line break, first click in the cell (or cells) where you want to add a line break.

Click again exactly where you want to insert the break. Because our example uses first and last names, we click between the two to display them on separate lines.

Click between first and last name

Press Alt + Enter on the keyboard when you use Excel on a Windows PC. If you’re using a Mac, press Ctrl + Option + Enter instead.

Alt + Enter

You can repeat these steps to add additional line breaks. If we want to separate a middle name on a line of its own, e.g. example, we would just repeat the steps, place the cursor where you want, and Alt +. to press Enter (Ctrl + Option + Return on the Mac).

Alt + repeat input

Automatic line break with line break

If you want to automatically wrap your lines as soon as you reach the cell edge, you can instead rely on the Wrap Text tool to do it automatically.

Select all of the cells that you want to apply this text wrap to by clicking in the first and then dragging until you reach the last cell that you want to wrap.

Click and drag

On the Home tab, click Wrap Text.

Wrapping text this way often leads to some undesirable results. To the example, the text can be interrupted at undesired places. To fix this, simply enlarge the column by clicking and dragging the line next to the column you want.

Click and drag to enlarge the cell

Add a line break after certain characters

Select all of the cells that you want to add a line break to.

Click and drag

On the Home tab, click Find and Select> Replace. Alternatively, you can simply use the key combination Ctrl + H to bring up the same dialog.

Enter the character you are looking for in the “Search for” field. In our case, we’re looking for the comma that separates names from titles.

find something

In the Replace With box, press Ctrl + J to add a line break. This inserts a line break in place of each comma.

Ctrl + j

Click the Replace All button below to replace all commas with line breaks.

replace everything

Whichever method you used, your table should now be easier to read at a glance.

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