Wrap text and formulas in multiple lines in Excel

The Wrap Text feature in Excel is a handy formatting tool that lets you control the appearance of cell items (also known as labels) and headings on a worksheet. When the contents of a cell cover are displayed, all of its contents are displayed without being added to the total width of the sheet. Another use of text wrapping is to divide long formulas across multiple lines in cells or in the formula bar, making them easier to read and edit.

The instructions in this article apply to Excel 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007; and Excel for Office 365.

Contents
  1. Use keyboard shortcuts to wrap text as you type in Excel
  2. Use keyboard shortcuts to wrap existing text in Excel
  3. Use the ribbon to wrap text in Excel

Use keyboard shortcuts to wrap text as you type in Excel

The keyboard shortcut for wrapping text in Excel is the same as for inserting line breaks (sometimes called soft returns) in Microsoft Word, alt Enter † The result looks like this:

To wrap text in a cell:

  1. Select the cell where the text should be entered.

  2. Enter the first line of text.

  3. Press and hold a key alt

  4. Press key Input

  5. Release the key alt

  6. The insertion point moves to the line below the text you just entered.

  7. Enter the second line of text.

  8. To enter more than two lines of text, press alt Enter at the end of each line.

  9. When you have entered all the text, click Enter or select another cell.

Use hotkey alt Enter to wrap or break long formulas across multiple lines in the formula bar.

Use keyboard shortcuts to wrap existing text in Excel

Keyboard shortcuts aren’t limited to just the text you’re currently typing. As shown in the image below, text can be wrapped after being entered into a cell.

If you have a selection already entered, follow these steps to convert a cell with a few keystrokes:

  1. Select the cell containing the text you want to change.

  2. Press key F2 or double-click a cell to put Excel in edit mode.

  3. Place the cursor where you want to break the line.

  4. Press and hold a key alt

  5. Press key Input

  6. Release the key alt

  7. To break off the same line of text a second time, move the cursor to a new location and repeat steps 4-6.

  8. When you’re done, click Enter or select another cell to exit edit mode.

Use the ribbon to wrap text in Excel

As an alternative to using keyboard shortcuts, the ribbon has a wrap option. If you don’t want to remember key commands, this method is for you.

  1. Select the cell containing the text you want to wrap.

  2. Select Home

  3. Select Text Wrap

  4. The labels in the cell are fully visible. The text is split into two lines or multiple lines, without spilling over into adjacent cells.

Excel automatically wraps the text in the cell according to the cell width. If you want more control, use keyboard shortcuts.

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