How To Go To The Next Line In Excel

Learn how to go to the next line in Excel with this easy-to-follow guide.

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Sometimes the simplest of questions can be quite difficult to find out by yourself in Excel.

It’s vastly different from the other MS programs, which means if you’re a newbie it can become quite a task trying to figure out the simplest of functions, but what does the ‘next line’ actually mean?

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For example, if you’re storing multiple bits of data within the same cell that is separated by a comma, it can not only look better but also be more readable if you separate the data to the next line below, but within the same cell.

If you’re used to using MS applications, you’ll be familiar with the ‘Enter’ key, this allows you to move to the next line with ease, but unfortunately, Excel doesn’t work this way. So, how do you go to the next line in Excel? Well, we will explain how to do this in this guide.

What Does The Enter Key Do In Excel?

The ‘Enter’ key’s function is that it allows you to go to the next cell that’s below the currently highlighted cell.

So if you’re looking for a way to get to the next cell below, just simply hit the ‘Enter’ key and it will complete the current entry or operation you’re performing in that cell and move you right on down to the next cell directly below.


Methods To Start A New Line In Excel

There’s a couple of different methods you can use to get to a new line within the same cell, and we’ll outline them below.



Starting A New Line In An Excel Cell

This method will allow you to insert a line break and move to the next line but in the same cell. It’s quite simple and all you’ll need is the ‘Alt’ and ‘Enter’ keys.

Just double-click on the cell where you want to start a line break and just hold the ‘Alt’ and ‘Enter’ key together and it will push the current text that exists in the cell to the top and your cursor will move to the next line directly below that text and you can start typing there.

Starting a new line in an Excel cell

For those on Mac, to insert a line break you can either use ‘Ctrl’ + ‘Option’ or ‘Ctrl’ + ‘Command’ + ‘Return’.

If you find that it’s still not separating the text, ensure that the ‘Wrap Text’ feature is enabled, you’ll find this feature in the ‘Home’ tab.



Insert A Line Break After A Specific Character

If you have a number of one line cell entries in your worksheet, you’ll find it can be quite time consuming having to manually insert the line break in each of the cells. It’s a useful way to insert multiple line breaks into multiple cells.

Here’s how to do it:

Select all the cells that you want to insert a line break after a specific character.

Insert a line break after a specific character

Press the ‘Ctrl’ + ‘H’, this will open the ‘Find & Replace’ dialogue box.

Insert a line break after a specific character

Make sure that you have the tab  ‘Replace’ selected. In the ‘Find What’ field, type a comma and a space, like this (, ). If your data isn’t separated by a comma and a space, type the comma without a space, like so (,).

In the ‘Replace with’ window, press ‘Ctrl’ and ‘J’ which is a shortcut command that will insert the carriage return. So it will insert a line break wherever it finds a comma.

After you’ve finished press the ‘Replace All’ button to apply this to the selected cells. Double tap to see the result, and you’ll see that the text has gone to the next line.

Final Thoughts

Unlike other Microsoft Office programs, inserting a new line within the same Excel cell can be difficult and unintuitive. However, we show you that it is, in fact, possible if you just follow our simple steps.

For those looking for more how-to guides related to Microsoft Excel, our experts at PC Guide have carefully curated more articles for you to enjoy. Be sure to check them out as we cover a large range of Excel functions.