Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Simulating Alt+Enter in a Formula.

Simulating Alt+Enter in a Formula

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 7, 2019)

19

Kirk has a formula that concatenates text values: =A1 & A2 & A3. He is looking for a way to simulate the pressing of Alt+Enter between each of the concatenated values. There are two ways that this can be approached, and both end up with the same results.

The first method is to simply press Alt+Enter between the values as you are entering the formula. For instance, consider the following formula:

=A1 & "[ae]" & A2 & "[ae]" & A3

In this instance, every place that you see [ae] you would actually press Alt+Enter. Thus, you would end up with a formula that looked like this just before entering it:

=A1 & "
" & A2 & "
" & A3

If you find entering this type of formula distracting, you can always use the actual character code that Excel does whenever you press Alt+Enter. The following formula shows this approach:

=A1 & CHAR(10) & A2 & CHAR(10) & A3

The CHAR(10) inserts a line feed character, which is the same as is done by Excel when you press Alt+Enter.

If, after entering your formula, you don't see the results on separate lines, it is because you don't have wrapping turned on for the cell. Instead you'll see a small square box where the line feed character is located. To see the results of the formula on separate lines, display the Format Cells dialog box (click Format | Cells). On the Alignment tab select the Wrap Text check box.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2788) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Simulating Alt+Enter in a Formula.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Quickly Identifying Applied AutoFilters

Apply an AutoFilter to a worksheet, and you can quickly forget exactly what that AutoFilter entailed. Here are a couple ...

Discover More

Text Doesn't Wrap at Margin in Draft View

If you are using Word in Draft view, and the text on the screen doesn't wrap at the right margin like it should, the ...

Discover More

Changing Spacing Between Table Cells

Need to adjust the space between individual cells in a table? Word gives you a good deal of control over this spacing, as ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Formatting Canadian Postal Codes

Postal codes in Canada consist of six characters, separated into two groups. This tip explains the format and then shows ...

Discover More

Counting Wins and Losses

Need to count the number of W (win) or L (loss) characters in a range of cells? You can develop a number of formulaic ...

Discover More

Viewing Formulas versus Results

Sometimes it is helpful to see the actual formulas in a cell, rather than the results of those formulas. Here's how to ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five minus 0?

2019-02-08 15:03:22

Erik Andersson

Every day I learn something! Thanks for this!


2018-08-15 05:21:34

labrys

When using char(10) or char(13) in formula for text value of a shape however, it makes a big space (like a <P> instead of <BR> in html) - as opposed to when manually typing it into the shape.

Is there a way in the formula to remove this extra space. It tried converting it into a CRLF (char(13)&char(10)) but this just makes two big spaces . char(10) or char(13) just make a big paragraph essentially. I can’t make a shape dynamic with CR's in it, and still look the same as static text with enters pressed.


2017-09-11 05:34:14

Oscar

how to Simulating Alt+Enter in vlookup formula


2017-01-13 09:39:53

celia

Hi Allen,

thank you for this information.
It saved me so much time.

C


2017-01-11 10:48:55

Eric Brito

I'm using a slim keyboard and there is not a left ALT, only right ALT. And in Excel left ALT + ENTER dont work.

How can I break line without left ALT?


2016-10-20 20:39:14

T Le

Thank you very much for this Simulating Alt+Enter in a Formula.


2015-11-10 02:02:42

Toeiii

Really useful! Thanks :)


2015-10-19 15:06:40

rohit

I have string value in cell with two line.
I want to color the value after 1st line.

Active
Alert
Discharge

Second two line should be red color.


2015-10-04 10:17:42

Srinath

Hi friends.. i have a problem in counting Total of few numbers which enterd in one single cell using Alt+Enter. now i need total of those numbers.. please help me..


2015-09-09 07:42:56

chaya kanojia

its amazing ... i want to high knowledge of excel .. can you help ?????????


2015-07-09 02:58:14

Jan

Thanks, working perfekt


2015-04-23 13:46:47

Clinton

Awesome! Thank you!


2015-03-04 09:16:52

lucio

no Excel 2013, a fórmula é
= A1 & Caract(10) & A2 & Caract(10) & A3


2015-01-22 14:13:34

Michael

Ok, so am using the Alt + Enter, but am having a unique problem, when I change the second line font color from black to any color, it changes the font size from 10 to 7. Any ideas? No conditional formatting is being used on the cells, FYI


2014-06-04 19:25:00

boobalan

yes, i agree the function is CHR() not CHAR()


2014-04-11 03:17:04

Ben Wit

The name of the worksheetfunction you would use depends on the installed language of thhe office version, and is CHAR() for English.

In VBA thhe function,not depending on installed language, CHR()


2014-04-09 13:44:41

Scott

Thanks, Micky


2014-04-08 07:12:17

Michael (Micky) Avidan

@Scott,
The result of your believe is wrong.
CHAR is used in sheet formulas, whereas CHR is used in VBA.
Michael (Micky) Avidan
“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator
“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2014)
ISRAEL


2014-04-07 10:51:51

Scott

I believe that the function is called CHR() not CHAR().


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.