How to Insert a Return in an MS Excel Cell

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Enter a return with a keyboard shortcut.

Microsoft Excel is a program that you can use to enter, format and manipulate large amounts of data. There may be times when you want to enter several rows of data into a cell. However, while pressing the "Enter" key in a word-processing program may produce a new line, all that key does in Microsoft Excel is move you to the next cell down. In order to insert a hard return into a cell, you need a keyboard shortcut.


Step 1

Click on the cell where you would like to enter the return.

Step 2

Press the "Alt" key and keep it held down.

Step 3

Press the "Enter" key, making sure you are holding the "Alt" key down at the same time. Excel enters a return into the cell.


To place a return in an Excel cell on a Macintosh, press the "Ctrl" key, the "Option" key and the "Return" key together. If this sequence doesn't work, restart Excel and retry.