Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Searching for Line Breaks.

Searching for Line Breaks

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 11, 2019)

Veronica wondered how to search for a line break (Alt+Enter) in a cell. In Word you can search for ^l to find line breaks, but there does not seem to be a similar way to search for line breaks in Excel.

The answer is to remember that you can enter any ASCII code into the "Find What" box by holding down the Alt key and using the numeric keypad. Since the ASCII code for the line break is 10, you can follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+F to display the Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  3. In the Find What box, hold down the Alt key as you type 0010 on the numeric keypad. It may not look like anything is in the Find What box, but the character is there.
  4. Click Find Next.

If you want to find cells containing a line break through a macro, you can use the following:

Sub FindLineBreak()
    WhatToFind = Chr(10)
    Cells.Select
    Selection.Find(What:=WhatToFind, After:=ActiveCell, _
      LookIn:=xlValues, LookAt:=xlPart, _
      SearchOrder:=xlByRows, SearchDirection:=xlNext, _
      MatchCase:=False, SearchFormat:=False).Activate
End Sub

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9013) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Searching for Line Breaks.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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