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When typing in a cell in your spreadsheet, the contents are all on the same line by default. However, depending on what you’re working on, this may not be what you want. If you have a long text, displaying it in one long line makes reading difficult. Perhaps you need to display multiple list items in the same cell, each in its own line. These items can be text, numbers, calculations, or any combination of data types. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to add new lines or line breaks within your cells.

In this guide, you will learn different ways to add new lines to your cells in Google Sheets. First, you will learn the keyboard shortcut to add line breaks in your cells on Windows and Mac computers. You will also learn to add line breaks to make your formulas more readable and how to use the CHAR function in your formulas to display the results on different lines within the same cell.

Additionally, you will learn how to add line breaks in the Google Sheets mobile app, where no shortcut is available. Finally, you will learn how to use the text wrapping option to display the cell contents over separate lines without actually adding any line breaks.

How Do You Add a New Line in the Same Cell in Google Sheets?

To add a new line in a cell, place your cursor where you want the current line to end and press Alt + Enter (Windows) or Cmd + Enter (Mac). Your cursor and any text after it will move down to the new line. Repeat the shortcut to add more lines.

1. Place Cursor

To split text over several lines within a cell, place your cursor at the point where you want to insert the new line.

How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets Place Cursor
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets - Place Cursor

2. Use Shortcut

Use the shortcut: Alt + Enter (Windows) or Cmd + Enter (Mac). Repeat these steps to split the text into as many lines as you want. Press ‘Enter’ to see the result.

How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets Use Shortcut
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets - Use Shortcut

In addition to the shortcut, you can use the CHAR(10) function in your formulas to insert line breaks. Using this function with the ampersand (&) or a function like TEXTJOIN, you can perform multiple calculations and display the results on different lines within the same cell. In the next section, you have examples of how to use line breaks in your formulas.

Insert New Lines in Formulas in Google Sheets

Complex formulas, such as any involving nested functions or including multiple strings, can become overly long and difficult to read. You can add line breaks to improve readability without affecting how the result is calculated or displayed.

However, it’s also possible to use line breaks to calculate and return the results of multiple calculations in separate lines within the same cell. Below, you have examples of both uses of line breaks in formulas.

Improve Formula Readability

Follow the instructions below to improve readability by adding line breaks in your formulas.

  1. 1. Double-click on the cell containing your formula and place the cursor at the point where you want to split it into two lines.
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets Place Cursor 2
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets - Place Cursor
  1. 2. Use the shortcut: Alt + Enter (Windows) or Cmd + Enter (Mac). Repeat steps 1 and 2 as needed.
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets Use Shortcut As Needed
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets - Use Shortcut As Needed
  1. 3. Press ‘Enter’ and select the cell again to see the result. The formula is now split into different lines in the same cell, making it easier to identify the different conditions being applied with the FILTER function.
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets Formula in Separate Lines
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets - Formula in Separate Lines

Calculate & Display Multiple Results in a Single Cell

Now that you know how to use line breaks to make formulas easier to read in the formula bar, it’s time to learn how to calculate and display multiple types of content in different lines within a single cell.

Below, you have step-by-step instructions for two different examples: the first shows how to combine CHAR(10) and the ampersand (&) and the second, how to combine CHAR(10) and TEXTJOIN.

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Using CHAR(10) & Ampersand (&)

With this example, you will learn how to combine CHAR(10) and the ampersand (&) to display the result of a calculation and text on different lines in the same cell.

  1. 1. In an empty cell, type the equal sign and the value or calculation that you want on the first line of your cell.
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets First Value or Calculation
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets - First Value or Calculation
  1. 2. Add an ampersand (&), followed by CHAR(10), and then another ampersand (&).
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets Ampersand CHAR10
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets - Ampersand & CHAR(10)
  1. 3. Type the value or calculation you want on the second line. To add more lines, repeat step 2.
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets Second Value or Calculation
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets - Second Value or Calculation
  1. 4. Press ‘Enter’ to see the results.
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets Results on Separate Lines
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets - Results on Separate Lines

Using CHAR(10) & TEXTJOIN

Follow the steps below to use CHAR(10) and TEXTJOIN to display - in separate lines - the result of built-in functions like AVERAGE, SUM, & COUNT with a text label to identify each.

  1. 1. In an empty cell, type the TEXTJOIN function.
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets TEXTJOIN Function
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets - TEXTJOIN Function
  1. 2. Use CHAR(10) as the delimiter and choose whether to ignore empty cells.
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets CHAR10 as Delimiter
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets - CHAR(10) as Delimiter
  1. 3. For the third parameter, which is the first value, type the AVERAGE function and select the values.
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets AVERAGE Function
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets - AVERAGE Function
  1. 4. After the closing parenthesis for the AVERAGE function, type an ampersand (&) followed by the text you want to use between quotes.
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets AVERAGE Text Label
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets - AVERAGE Text Label
  1. 5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 to add the other functions with their text labels.
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets Add Remaining Functions Labels
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets - Add Remaining Functions & Labels
  1. 6. Press ‘Enter’ to see the result.
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets Multiple Results on Separate Lines
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets - Multiple Results on Separate Lines
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How Do You Go to the Next Line in the Same Cell in Google Sheets Mobile?

Unfortunately, no shortcut is available to insert new lines in cells in the iOS or Android Sheets apps. However, you can write a formula using the & sign and CHAR function between lines. For example, ="My first line"&CHAR(10)&"My second line".

How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets Type Formula
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets - Type Formula

Press ‘Enter’ to see the result.

How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets Text Items on Separate Lines
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets - Text Items on Separate Lines

You can also use the CHAR function with the ampersand or TEXTJOIN to achieve the same effect with a cleaner formula, particularly if you have a long list of items. Finally, you can use the text wrapping feature to fix the width of the cells and automatically insert line breaks in the display.

Automatic Line Breaks in Google Sheets

There is another way to force text to be displayed in separate lines: text wrapping. You can fix the cell's width and enable text wrapping to ensure that no line of text exceeds that width. The quickest way to do this is by selecting the cells after fixing their width, then clicking the ‘wrap text’ button on the toolbar or going to Format > Wrapping > Wrap.

To learn more about wrapping text in Google Sheets, check out our guide on How to Wrap Text in Google Sheets (Easy Guide).

  1. 1. Select the cell or cells containing your text and set the width you want for the column.
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets Set Column Width
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets - Set Column Width
  1. 2. With the cells selected, click the text wrapping button on the toolbar. Alternatively, go to Format > Wrapping > Wrap.
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets Enable Text Wrapping
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets - Enable Text Wrapping
  1. 3. As you can see, the text is now wrapped so that the length of each line never exceeds the cell's width.
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets Text Displayed Over Multiple Lines
How to Insert a New Line in a Cell in Google Sheets - Text Displayed Over Multiple Lines

Conclusion

There are different ways to add new lines within a cell depending on what you need. You know that the keyboard shortcut inserts the line break wherever your cursor is placed within the cell, adding a new line below it. You also know that you can use the CHAR function in your formulas to ensure that the results are displayed on different lines.

You have examples of using CHAR combined with the ampersand (&) and TEXTJOIN to display different types of data, including the results of custom formulas or built-in functions. Finally, you also know how to use text wrap to ensure cell contents are automatically displayed over separate lines.

Hady ElHady
Hady is Content Lead at Layer.

Hady has a passion for tech, marketing, and spreadsheets. Besides his Computer Science degree, he has vast experience in developing, launching, and scaling content marketing processes at SaaS startups.

Originally published Feb 24 2023, Updated Jun 26 2023

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