How to Wrap Text and Formulas on Multiple Lines in Excel

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Excel's wrap text feature is a handy formatting tool that allows you to control the look of cell entries (also called labels) and headings in a worksheet. When the content of a cell is wrapped, all of its content is visible without adding to the overall width of the worksheet. Another use for wrapping text is to break long formulas onto multiple lines in cells or in the formulas bar so they're easier to read and edit.

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

Use Shortcut Keys to Wrap Text as You Type in Excel

The shortcut key combination for wrapping text in Excel is the same one used to insert line breaks (sometimes called soft returns) in Microsoft Word, Alt+Enter. The result looks like this:

Screenshot of Excel showing a cell with multiple lines

To wrap text inside a cell:

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

  2. Type the first line of text.

  3. Press and hold the Alt key.

  4. Press the Enter key.

  5. Release the Alt key.

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

  7. Type 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've entered all the text, press Enter or select another cell.

Use the Alt+Enter shortcut key combination to wrap or break long formulas into multiple lines in the formula bar.

Use Shortcut Keys to Wrap Existing Text in Excel

Shortcut keys aren't just limited to text you are currently typing. As the image below shows, text can be wrapped after it has been entered into a cell.

Screenshot of Excel showing text edited after writing

If you have a selection that has already been typed, follow these steps to convert the cell with a few key presses:

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

  2. Press the F2 key or double-click on the cell to place Excel in Edit mode.

  3. Place the cursor where you want the line to be broken.

  4. Press and hold the Alt key.

  5. Press the Enter key.

  6. Release the Alt key.

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

  8. When you're finished, press Enter or select another cell to exit Edit mode.

Use the Ribbon to Wrap Text in Excel

As an alternative to using shortcut keys, the ribbon presents a wrapping option. If you don't want to memorize key commands, this method is for you.

  1. Select the cell that contains the text to be wrapped.

  2. Select Home.

  3. Select Wrap Text.

    Screenshot of Excel showing wrapped text via the ribbon bar
  4. The labels in the cell are fully visible. The text is broken into two lines or into multiple lines with no spillover into adjacent cells.

Excel automatically wraps the text in a cell to match the width of the cell. If you want more control, use the shortcut keys.