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 April 5, 2014)


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. ...


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What is 1 + 5?

2017-09-11 05:34:14


how to Simulating Alt+Enter in vlookup formula

2017-01-13 09:39:53


Hi Allen,

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


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


Really useful! Thanks :)

2015-10-19 15:06:40


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


Second two line should be red color.

2015-10-04 10:17:42


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


Thanks, working perfekt

2015-04-23 13:46:47


Awesome! Thank you!

2015-03-04 09:16:52


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

2015-01-22 14:13:34


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


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


Thanks, Micky

2014-04-08 07:12:17

Michael (Micky) Avidan

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)

2014-04-07 10:51:51


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

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