Carriage Return Within a Cell in Microsoft Excel

There's 3 ways to get a carriage return or paragraph return or line feed within a cell.

Method 1 - Cell Wrapping

Often, you need only set the cell to wrap text, and you can set the width of the cell to whatever is desired. Choose Format®Cells, Alignment tab, and check Wrap text.

This is the result:

Method 2 - Insert a Return

This one's a no-brainer. Just type the first line, hit Alt+Enter and type the second line. The result is virtually the same as above, however, if you copy and paste this to Word, for instance, you'll end up with a line break. Or if you export to CSV or other text format, you may get unexpected results.

Method 3 - Using a Formula

To use this, you must have wrap text selected. Here's a sample formula:


The results, again, are the same as above. However, if you forget to wrap text on the cell, you'll see this: debuted on May 26, 2005. provides examples of Formulas, Functions and Visual Basic procedures for illustration only, without warranty either expressed or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose. The Formulas, Functions and Visual Basic procedures on this web site are provided "as is" and we do not guarantee that they can be used in all situations.

Access®, Excel®, FrontPage®, Outlook®, PowerPoint®, Word® are registered trademarks of the Microsoft Corporation.
MrExcel® TM is a registered trademark of Tickling Keys, Inc.

All contents © 1998-2014 by MrExcel Consulting | All rights reserved