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How to Start a New Line in Google Sheets cell

Google Sheets is quickly becoming an indispensable tool in business data management today. It allows you to organize, analyze, and collaborate easily and conveniently with other users. And while using Google Sheets is relatively easy, and you might be familiar with its basic functions, some features, such as starting a new line in a cell, might be more challenging.

For context, Google Sheets treats information in a single cell as a continuous string. Furthermore, when you press enter after typing information, the active cell always moves to the next cell on the sheet. Therefore, learning how to start a new line in a Google Sheets cell is a crucial skill that can help you better organize your data.

But if you don’t know how to. Worry not. This post will look at how to start a new line in a Google Sheets cell. Keep reading to learn more. 

Ways to Start a New Line in Google Sheets Cell

Fortunately, there are many strategies to insert a new line in a cell while working on Google Sheets.

Some are more complicated than others, but we will look at the most prevalent.

Method 1: Type Text and Press Ctrl + Enter

    One of the easiest ways of starting a new line on Google Sheets is to simply type in what you want as a single string of thoughts in one cell.

    Then from your typed-in information, navigate to where you want a sentence break or to start a new line using your cursor and press Ctrl + Enter to break the text into two independent lines in the same cell. 

    How to Start a New Line in Google Sheets cell using Ctrl+Enter

    Moreover, you can also press Control + Enter to create a new line in the same cell after you’re done typing the first part of your statement. Then the cursor will move to a new line, and you can continue typing. 

    You should also note that this is the easiest and main way of starting a new line in Google Sheets. 

    Method 2: Wrap Text

      Google Sheets’ default typing mode continues text horizontally, even after reaching the outer boundary of the cell. This can hinder your ability to use the cells next to the one you’re typing in and frustrate your process.

      However, you can use the Wrap Text function to keep all your text within the bounds of your single cell by automatically starting a new line when you reach the edge of the cell. 

      To use the Wrap Text function: 

      Step 1. Type your text

      In our above example, you can see how the text has exceeded its cell’s bounds and gone over other cells, blocking access. 

      Step 2. Wrap Text

      Highlight the cell you typed in, go to the menu section, and click on the Wrap Text option, which looks like a crooked arrow, as shown below. 

      How to Start a New Line in Google Sheets cell using Wrap Text

      Click on the wrap option in the middle to fit your text neatly in the cell. You can also adjust the cell size to make the text more legible. The screenshot below shows how the text should look after wrapping. 

      Method 3: Use the Substitute Function

        We’ve looked at starting new lines while typing text into Google Sheets, but suppose you have a large data set you want to process.

        For instance, you could have your customer’s addresses separated by commas in different cells. Using the substitute formula, you can remove the commas and break each part of the addresses into their own lines.

        Here is the substitute formula:

        and how it works using our sample data.

        How to Start a New Line in Google Sheets cell using the SUBSTITUTE Function

        Step 1. Pick a Cell

        In our above example, we will use cell C9 in the Results column as the cell we want our formula to make returns to.

        Step 2. Type in the SUBSTITUTE formula

        How to Start a New Line in Google Sheets cell using the SUBSTITUTE Function

        Step 3. Press Enter

        Once you press enter, the addresses will autofill in cell C9 as well as the rest, as seen below. 

        You will note that the formula has eliminated all the commas and used their previous position as break points to start new lines in each cell. 

        As you can see, starting a new line in Google Sheets is not that difficult, and once you learn the different strategies, you can easily do it. These are just some of the few methods you can use and in no way cover the full breadth available, but they’re a good starting point nonetheless. 


        As the role of data continues to play a bigger part in running a business today, programs like Google Sheets are increasingly becoming invaluable in managing it. As such, we also expect these programs’ functions to evolve and meet our needs. We’re glad they have more than kept up, and Google Sheets offers great convenience.

        Starting a new line in a Google Sheets cell can initially seem mundane, but it can be challenging if you’re just starting out. Moreover, when you start to consider different Google Sheets formulas that allow you to manage and analyze data in a cell using functions like the substitute formula, you start to appreciate the profoundness of this simple task. 

        We hope this post helped you learn how to start a new line in Google Sheets cell and that you find practical uses in your own applications. 


        Why is it important to know how to start a new line within a cell? 

        Starting a new line within a cell enhances the readability and organization of your data. It allows you to present multiline content like addresses, notes, or poems in a structured manner, making your spreadsheet more informative and visually appealing.

        Can I simply press Enter to create a new line within a cell? 

        By default, pressing Enter moves the cursor to the next cell rather than creating a new line within the same cell. You’ll need to use specific methods like keyboard shortcuts or the formula bar to insert a line break within the cell.

        What is text wrapping, and how does it help with line breaks? 

        Text wrapping automatically adjusts the height of a cell to fit multiline content while keeping it visible within the cell’s boundaries. This helps ensure that your text is properly displayed and doesn’t get cut off.