A carriage return lets you add multiple lines of text inside a single spreadsheet cell. Let’s learn how to add a carriage return in Microsoft Excel.
How to Add a Carriage Return in Microsoft Excel
Imagine that you want to type in a city and state in Excel. You want them stacked:
But you don’t want to use multiple cells. You want all three words to exist in a single cell. Fortunately, this is easy in Excel. It’s called a carriage return, and let’s look at how to add one in a cell.
Begin by clicking into any cell in your workbook. Then, type in your first word. In this case, type Charleston.
Your next step will vary slightly based on whether you’re working on a Mac or PC. If you’re on Mac, press Control + Option + Return on your keyboard simultaneously. If you’re using a PC, your keyboard shortcut is Alt + Enter.
Watch as Excel adds a carriage return in the cell. Now, all you have to do is finish typing in your words. You can do this as many times in a cell as you’d like.
If you don’t see your text in multiple cells, make sure that Wrap Text is activated for the cell in question. With the cell selected, go to the Home tab and click on Wrap Text if it isn’t shaded in gray.
How to Add a Carriage Return to Existing Text
Have text already in a cell, and want to break it across multiple lines with a carriage return? Simple.
Double-click into the cell, as you would if you were changing the text inside. Then, with your arrow keys, place your cursor at the point where you want to add the carriage return. Remove the space between words, then press Control + Option + Return (Alt + Enter on Windows).
The carriage return will be inserted.
As you can see, it’s incredibly easy to add a carriage return in Excel.