How to Start a New Line in Google Sheets: A Step-by-Step Guide

Learning how to start a new line in Google Sheets is as easy as pressing “Alt” + “Enter” on your keyboard while your cursor is in the cell where you want the new line to begin. This simple keystroke will allow you to create line breaks within a single cell, making your data easier to read and organize.

After you complete this action, the text within the cell will be displayed on multiple lines, improving the readability of your data and allowing you to convey more information within a single cell.


Google Sheets is a powerful tool for organizing and analyzing data, but sometimes the data we deal with isn’t as straightforward as we’d like it to be. Have you ever found yourself trying to cram too much information into one cell? Or maybe you’re trying to make a list within a cell but can’t figure out how to separate the items. Starting a new line within a cell can be a game-changer for these situations, and it’s a skill that can help anyone from students to professionals make their spreadsheets more readable and user-friendly.

Why is this important? Well, imagine you’re creating a schedule and need to list multiple tasks in one cell for a particular day. Without the ability to start a new line, your cell would become a cluttered mess, making it difficult to distinguish between tasks. By starting a new line, you can ensure each task is clearly separated, making it easier for anyone reading the spreadsheet to understand the information presented.

Related: How to Embed Google Sheets in WordPress

Step by Step Tutorial: Starting a New Line in Google Sheets

Before we dive into the steps, understand that this tutorial will guide you through creating line breaks within a single cell in Google Sheets. This is particularly useful for adding clarity and organization to your data without having to expand the cell size or merge cells.

Step 1: Select the Cell

Click on the cell where you want to start a new line.
Selecting the correct cell is crucial because the new line will only apply to the cell that is currently active or selected. Make sure you have clicked on the cell and that it is highlighted.

Step 2: Place the Cursor

Place your cursor where you want the new line to begin within the cell’s text.
This step is all about positioning. If you want the new line to start after a specific word or sentence, make sure your cursor is located right after that point before you proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Use the Keyboard Shortcut

Press “Alt” + “Enter” on your keyboard.
This keyboard shortcut is the magic key to starting a new line within a cell in Google Sheets. Once you press these keys together, a new line will be created exactly where your cursor was placed.


Improved ReadabilityStarting a new line within a cell can significantly enhance the readability of your data. It allows you to separate different pieces of information clearly, which is especially useful when dealing with long strings of text or multiple data points.
Better OrganizationBy using line breaks, you can organize information in a list format within a single cell. This helps keep related data together without spreading it across multiple cells or rows, which can be particularly handy for tasks, steps, or any items that are part of a group.
Enhanced AestheticsLet’s face it, cluttered cells are not pleasing to the eye. Using line breaks can make your spreadsheet look neater and more professional. It contributes to a clean and organized appearance, which can be critical when sharing your sheets with colleagues or clients.


Limited Formatting OptionsWhile starting a new line in Google Sheets can help organize text, it doesn’t provide the same level of formatting as word processing software. You can’t change the font size or style for individual lines within the same cell.
Manual ProcessEach new line requires manual input, which can be time-consuming when dealing with a large amount of data. There’s no automatic way to insert a line break after a certain number of characters or words.
Potential for MistakesIf not done carefully, starting a new line in Google Sheets can lead to errors such as accidental line breaks in the wrong place, which can disrupt the flow of your data and require additional time to correct.

Additional Information

When working with Google Sheets, it’s not uncommon to need a bit more control over how your text is displayed. That’s where the nifty trick of starting a new line within a single cell comes into play. But did you know you can also combine new lines with other formatting options? For instance, you can use “Ctrl” + “B” to bold the text before starting a new line, adding emphasis to certain parts of your content.

Another tip is to use line breaks when you’re dealing with addresses or multi-line quotes. It keeps the related information together but visually separate, which can be a huge help when scanning through data. And remember, while “Alt” + “Enter” is the shortcut for Windows users, if you’re using a Mac, you’ll want to use “Option” + “Enter” to achieve the same result.

Finally, don’t forget that you can resize your rows to accommodate the new lines. If you find that your text is getting cut off, simply adjust the row’s height to make sure all of your content is visible. This way, you maintain the integrity of your data presentation while still utilizing the benefits of starting a new line in Google Sheets.

Summary – How to Start a New Line in Google Sheets

  1. Select the cell where you want the new line to begin.
  2. Place the cursor at the desired point for the new line within the cell’s text.
  3. Press “Alt” + “Enter” on your keyboard to start the new line.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I start a new line in Google Sheets on a Mac?

Yes, you can start a new line in Google Sheets on a Mac by using the “Option” + “Enter” keyboard shortcut.

What if I accidentally start a new line? How can I remove it?

If you accidentally start a new line, simply place your cursor at the beginning of the new line and press “Backspace” to remove it.

Can I use this feature on the Google Sheets mobile app?

Starting a new line in Google Sheets on the mobile app can be done by tapping the “Enter” key on your mobile keyboard while editing a cell.

Will starting a new line affect my formulas or data sorting?

No, starting a new line within a cell will not affect formulas or sorting. The cell content is still considered as one entity.

Can I start a new line in multiple cells at once?

Unfortunately, no. You have to start a new line manually in each cell where you need it.


In the world of data organization, starting a new line in Google Sheets is a simple yet powerful tool that can make a world of difference in how your information is presented and perceived. Whether you’re working on a report, organizing a schedule, or simply trying to make your data more readable, mastering this skill will certainly come in handy. Remember, it’s all about making sure your data is as clear and accessible as possible. So go ahead and give it a try – your spreadsheets will thank you for it!

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