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: Automatically Breaking Text.

Automatically Breaking Text

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 8, 2017)


Have you ever had a string in a cell that you wanted to wrap after every word? The normal way of doing this would be to press F2 and edit the string. You would delete each space and then press Alt+Enter to add a new line character.

There's an easier, less manual method of doing this, however—just use the SUBSTITUTE function. Suppose cell A1 contained "This is my text." Enter the following into another cell:


What this results in is the text of cell A1 with small boxes where the spaces were. Turn on wrapping for the cell (done in the Format Cells dialog box) and each word appears on a different line, just as you wanted.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3060) 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: Automatically Breaking Text.

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 4 + 4?

2017-04-12 10:38:07

Willy Vanhaelen

Turn on wrapping as explained in the last paragraph.

2017-04-11 07:20:58


This made the "This is my text" into "Thisismytext" with no boxes as you note.

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