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Excel Hints & Tips – Line Breaks in a Cell & Cell Formats

Adding a Line Break

Sometimes you want to have text in one cell that is spilt into multiple lines. To do this you need to use the ALT + ENTER keyboard shortcut. What you end up with is something like this: Pic 1 This is very similar to putting a soft return into a Word document except that, in Word, you use SHIFT + ENTER.

Formatting Cells

What you may not realise is that adding a line break automatically turns on text wrapping for this cell. If you check the cell formatting you will see that the Wrap Text option is ticked: Pic 2 (A quick way of getting into the formatting options for a cell is to use CTRL + 1) If you turn off text wrapping, then the two lines will move together: Pic 3 As you can see, this causes the test to either be truncated, or to spill out into the next cell if that cell is empty. You can try using the Shrink to fit option in the cell format pop-up, but this can cause the text to become too small to read: Pic 4

Removing or Replacing Line Breaks

To remove a single line break just put your cursor next to it and use either the delete key or the backspace key to remove it, then replace it with a space or other character. To remove a whole load of line breaks from within a worksheet you can use the Find a Replace tool. You’ll find this on the home tab, or you can use the CTRL + H keyboard shortcut. In the Find box type ALT + 010. You must use the number pad, not the row of numbers along the top of the keyboard (on a laptop you may need to turn on the number pad overlay). Then in the replace box type in a space, or whatever character you wish to use. The hit Replace, or Replace All if you are feeling brave! Written by Ian Balboa, Happy Trainer

If you have any Excel questions or hints and tips you would like shared get in touch, use this link! If you would like any further information on the Excel course we train, go to our dedicated Excel page on our website. If you are unsure of your Excel level, take our handy Excel survey. Remember – If you’ve been on a Happy Computers course you get 2 years free helpline access.  Call the helpline on 020 7375 7373. Happy Computers

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