Adding New Lines to Cells in Excel for the Mac

In case anyone else had as much trouble figuring this out as I did… if you want to break up a cell in the Mac edition of Microsoft Excel into multiple lines, you need to hold down the Option and Command keys while pressing Return.  This is a little different than the Windows edition of Excel, where you hold down Alt while pressing Return.  Anyway, it seems to work well, and now I can get nicely-formatted text into my Excel documents!

193 thoughts on “Adding New Lines to Cells in Excel for the Mac

  1. Thank you so much for this post. I couldn’t find this particular information in Excel help and I was going crazy!

  2. Thanks ever so much. I’ve been trying to puzzle out the analogous keyboard commands for Mac for way too long (seriously, it’s somewhat embarrassing)!

  3. Thank you so much for this, I was driving myself crazy trying to figure it out, I searched youtube for 20 minutes but still could not find anything. Thank you so much for making my life easier!

  4. it’s now 2012 and this post is still very helpful! thank you so much for this post. been trying to figure out how to do it on Excel for Mac.


  5. Like many other posts… I am so thankful for your post. I spent a lot of time unsuccessfully searching for how to enter multiple lines on one cell in Excel on Mac. I finally did a Google search and your post came up. Great help! Big Thanks!

  6. Adding to the years of thanks. Definitely a helpful hint. Congrats on being the top Google response on variations of the seach ‘ newline in cell excel mac ‘

  7. Hi Todd.
    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
    I found your post on April 15, 2012. Imagine that your post is still helping people 2 years, 2 months ad 10 days after you posted it!
    Kudos, Mr K. You single-handedly provided better support for Excel:Mac product than Microsoft. To their shame.
    I owe you one; if I can return the favor, drop me a note.

  8. You are a star I echo all the comments that went before you have just saved me from hours of frustrated Microsoft bewilderment 🙂

  9. Thank you VERY much, Todd ! This tip saved me a lot of time. Like the other commenters, I found the Mac Excel Help not that helpful.

  10. A very simple but heartfelt “me too!” to all the above posts of thanks. I thought I’d tried every key combination possible – clearly not!

  11. Thank you VERY much! I think as more people move to a MAC, this tip will continue to help others. Like others mentioned above, a profound thanks!

  12. Hello,

    For some reason this isn’t working for me. option+command+enter is bringing up a quick play window for iTunes. Anyone know how to disable that so I can use that keystroke for excel?



    • i am getting the same thing… i tried opt + cmmd + return and it only worked once, then i tried it in another cell and some windows program pops up – very frustrating. now it won’t work at all.

  13. Google leads me to your site … searched with “mac excel line feed in zelle” and Bingo! you had the right advice. Thanks from Germany, Erich

  14. Thank you thank you. I’m still having trouble making the jump from PC Word to Mac Word and this really helped. Look at all the comments over 2 years! See, we all achieve immortality in different ways through little acts of guidance and assistance.

  15. Thanks, This tip will save this teacher tons of “spacebar” time when typing weekly lesson plans!!!! Like most I found the answer NOWHERE in Help.

  16. Thanks a ton. have been struggling with this for a while . Standard short cut keys ( ALT + Enter) does not work in Excel for Mac

  17. Thank you very much…
    You can see by the steady stream of “thank you” replies (more than 18 months now) that this is much needed and hard-to-find tip.
    Just for a moment, consider how much time it took to offer this advice and then the resultant positive impact on so many people (imagine the countless many that have benefited but did not write their thanks). This might seem to overstate this.. but how many individuals were out there tearing their hair out as a deadline was bearing down on them only to have this stupid little frustration get in their way.

    Well done, and again, thank you.

    It is such a pain that Excel in Mac is so different from Windows. I find the Mac version very awkward.

  18. Brilliant – I was being driven mad by this. Thanks so much for putting this here. You have saved thousands of people a lot of frustration. Cheers.

  19. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!! I’m a new Mac user and a die hard Excel user. I’m loving the MAC and slowly but surely adapting to the new Excel key strokes and shortcuts. Really love being able to google a question and find a site where someone was considerate enough to post the solution. THANKS!

  20. Pingback: Adding New Lines to Cells in Excel for the Mac | /home/todd | Get Things to Work

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  22. This is going to be shared at our next team knowledge exchange… matter what other guys come up with this tip will definitely make me the star!! 😛 Thanks for sharing

  23. WOW! I see alot of people are having this problem, not just me…. drove me nuts for a month until i had the idea to search up the solution lol
    anyways, thanks!!!

  24. THANK YOU SOOOOOOO MUCH for posting this tip!!!! It was so frustrating trying to figure out something that seems so simple as skipping to the next line within a cell. I think it was an inside joke by Microsoft played at the expense of Mac users. Darn Microsoft! Well. . . I still love my Mac!

  25. Son of a gun! Thanks for this post. You’ve obviously done me and many others in the world much good with this post. 🙂

  26. I agree with the previous commenter of 2014… 5 years later, your post is still life saver! Mac can be annoying and “Help” being so useless. Thank you, thank YOU!

  27. Thanks so much for this AWESOME tip.

    I was going crazy not knowing how to do this so-very-often required feature of adding new lines to an excel cell on Mac.

    You are a life saver Todd 🙂

  28. Thank you sooooooo much!

    I too couldn’t find it in the Excel Help, so thank you for sharing your knowledge. I tried other variants of ‘function’ keys – except option +command + return.

    …. maybe Microsoft should include it in their general help for Mac users?

  29. OMG, amazing! Thank you!!! This has been driving me nuts and I couldn’t find it in the excel help. I think I tried every combo but this one, haha. Thanks heaps again 😀

  30. Thanks for this information, as did many others before me, I searched Microsoft help and could not find this information, even though I do it all the time on a Windows OS.

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