To add a line break with a formula, you can use the CHAR function. In the worksheet shown the formula in F5, copied down, is:


This formula uses the TEXTJOIN function to add line breaks between three text values. See below for another formula that uses manual concatenation with the ampersand (&) operator.

Note: To get Excel to respect the line break in a cell, be sure to enable "Wrap text" in the Alignment controls of the Ribbon, or at Format cells > Alignment > Wrap text.

Generic formula



In this example, the goal is to join together three text values separated by line breaks. In Excel, you can use the keyboard shortcut Alt + Enter to add a line break in a cell that contains text, but the same approach won't work in a formula. The trick is to use the CHAR function with the ASCII code 10 like this:

=CHAR(10) // line break

CHAR (10) returns a hidden character that Excel uses as a line break. To use CHAR(10) in a formula you must use concatenation.  The article below explains two approaches.

Note: "Wrap text" must be enabled for Excel to display the line breaks.


One way to join together text values with a line break is to use the TEXTJOIN function, which is designed to concatenate values together with a delimiter of your choice. This is the approach seen in the worksheet above, where the formula in cell F5 is:


The inputs to TEXTJOIN are provided as follows:

  • delimiter - given as CHAR(10) which returns a line break character in Excel
  • ignore_empty - set to 1, to avoid adding extra line breaks when values are empty
  • text1 - the range B5:D5, which contains the three text values to join together

As the formula is copied down, it inserts a line break character after Name and Address like this:

Traci Brown¬
1301 Robinson Court¬
Saginaw, MI 48607

Manual concatenation

It is also possible to create the same result with "manual" concatenation using the ampersand (&) operator like this:


Notice that each cell reference must be joined to the line break manually with an ampersand (&). The result from this formula is exactly the same as the formula above:

Traci Brown¬
1301 Robinson Court¬
Saginaw, MI 48607

Note: make sure you have Wrap Text enabled on cells that contain line breaks.

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Dave Bruns

Hi - I'm Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.