Formatting long strings of text is not Google Sheets’ strong suit. If you press the Enter key when editing a cell in Google Sheets, the system jumps to the cell below instead of adding a line break.
This causes problems when you want to add data to a single cell across multiple rows. Fortunately, there are several ways to add line breaks in Google Sheets. Let’s look at three simple methods.
1. Text wrapping
If your text is overflowing, you can change a simple text-wrap option so that it appears on multiple lines.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Select the cell.
- click on Text wrapping in the toolbar. If you can’t find this option, take a look at the screenshot above.
- choose Envelope.
Google Sheets now adjusts cell height and displays text across multiple lines, preventing it from overflowing. As a warning, this will not add line breaks to your text. If you look at the formula bar, the text is still on one line.
2. The key combination
An easy way to add line breaks wherever you want in Google Sheets is to use the following key combination CTRL + Come in key combination. If you are a Mac user, you can use the following combination cmd + Come in in place.
- Select the cell.
- Press in the formula bar CTRL + Come in where you want a line break.
This method adds actual line breaks to your text. Line breaks are preserved regardless of text wrap settings or cell dimensions. The formula line text will also have line breaks.
3. The CHAR function
If you want to use formulas to add line breaks in Google Sheets, the CHAR function is the perfect solution. CHAR is a Google Sheets function that takes the code of a character and then prints the character itself.
The CHAR function communicates with your computer’s character set, and your computer’s character set has a lot in common with ASCII. This means that you can use CHAR to produce any kind of character, including non-printable characters such as newlines. Since the decimal ASCII code for null is 10, entering this code in CHAR will produce a newline. You can use this function to add line breaks in Google Sheets cells.
CHAR is a function and you need to use it in a formula. Remember that text strings must be surrounded by quotation marks (« ») to make Google Sheets recognize that it is text and you need to put an ampersand (&) between character strings. Since it’s too much to consider at once, you can add line breaks in Google Sheets using CHAR step by step:
- Select a cell
- Type an equal sign (=) to start your formula.
- Enclose the first part of your text in quotation marks.
- Add an ampersand (&).
- Add CHAR(10) followed by another ampersand (&).
- Type the last part of your text inside the quotation marks.
- pressure Come in.
Your text will now appear on two lines. Your final formula should look like this:
="This text needs" & CHAR(10) & "a line break!"
But why go through all that and use the CHAR function to add line breaks? The answer to this question lies in the question itself: Because CHAR is a function! This means you can use CHAR to add line breaks in different scenarios and of course combine it with other functions.
For example, the formula below combines CHAR with the SUBSTITUTE function to add line breaks:
=SUBSTITUTE(A1, " ", CHAR(10))
The formula asks COMPENSATION see through A1 and replace spaces ( » « ) with CHAR(10). So spaces are replaced with line breaks and the output is as follows A1 in several lines.
Give your cells a break
If you type long strings of text into cells in Google Sheets, the text will overflow, making your spreadsheet look cluttered. You can’t add line breaks in Google Sheets like you would in a text editor, but you can with other methods.
Text wrapping options and the Ctrl + Enter combination can easily add line breaks to your cells and prevent them from overflowing. If you want to use a formula, you can add line breaks with the Google Sheets CHAR function. Now that you know how to add line breaks in Google Sheets using three different methods, it’s high time to fix those crowded strings and give your cells a break.