How do I insert a new line in Mac Excel cells?

This is a bit of a quickie tip but I scratched my head on it for a few hours one day.

If you use Office:Mac Excel, you may from time to time need to capture multiple lines of information into a cell. If you come from the Windows world, you will quickly come to realize that Alt+Enter doesn’t work.

If you want to insert a new line in Excel for the Mac, select the cell, type your first line and press Alt+Cmd+Enter.

There you have it, insanely easy.

It’s your turn!
If you have questions on how to do things in Excel ask them in the comments and I’ll try to answer them for you.

About Joe Cotellese

Joe is the founder of Learning OS X. He's often spending way too much time playing with new Mac software in order to improve his ability at "Getting Things Done."


  1. Regarding your response to the query: “How do I insert a new line in Mac Excel cells?’ on on February 4, 2010. Is there a character I can put into a “concatenate” function that is equivalent to , , ??

    • My question was changed upon posting…the last line should have been shown as “CTL”, “ALT”, “Enter”.

  2. Werner Hofstatter says:

    Not quite. I have a concatenate function, i.e.:
    =concatenate(A1,” “,A2)
    However, I want the contents of A2 to show up in a separate line within the resulting cell. I am looking for the same effect as using Control/Alt/Enter in a regular text cell, but one I can use in an excel formula.

    • Joe Cotellese says:

      Oh. I see what you are saying. Here’s what you need to do.


      CHAR(13) will insert the character from the Mac character set that has a code of 13. In this case, it happens to be a Line Feed.

      Make sure that the cell you are concatenating in to has Word Wrap turned on.

      If you find this helpful I’d appreciate you sharing like my page or giving me some G+ love.


  3. Werner Hofstatter says:

    Hi Joe,

    Thanks, that’s exactly what I wanted. I am a heavy user of Excel but recently switched to a Mac. If you happen to have a master list of all of the char() functions I would appreciate a copy.

    Love your site.

  4. Do you know if the HYPERLINK function parses %0A, %0D, or CHAR(13) when clicked on? I’m creating a mailto link, but when I click on it, it creates the email with the characters still in there and not creating a new line. The CHAR(13) does change, but shows up as %0D. Any ideas on how to get the new line in using the HYPERLINK function? Thanks!

  5. Hello! I’m using Excel on my Ipad, and I don’t have a keyboard at the moment. How can I create a new line in the same cell using touchscreen keys? Thanks.

  6. Thanks Joe, U r amazing man! I got that working. I have an other query. How do i insert filters in Mac Excel??

  7. Jekyll John says:

    Is it possible to enter text and a function into the same cell. EG “as at” followed by TODAY()

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