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: Automatically Breaking Text.

Automatically Breaking Text

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 19, 2020)

2

Have you ever had a string in a cell that you wanted to wrap after every word? The normal way of doing this would be to press F2 and edit the string. You would delete each space and then press Alt+Enter to add a new line character.

There's an easier, less manual method of doing this, however—just use the SUBSTITUTE function. Suppose cell A1 contained "This is my text." Enter the following into another cell:

=SUBSTITUTE(A1," ",CHAR(10))

What this results in is the text of cell A1 with small boxes where the spaces were (earlier versions of Excel) or no spaces in the text (later versions of Excel). Turn on wrapping for the cell (done in the Format Cells dialog box) and each word appears on a different line, just as you wanted.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11233) 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: Automatically Breaking Text.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Combinations for Members in Meetings

Got a large group of people listed in a worksheet and you want to make sure that each person has met with every other ...

Discover More

Hyperlinks in Shared Workbooks

Inserting a hyperlink into a workbook that is shared with others is not possible in Excel. Here's what you can do about it.

Discover More

Hanging Indents in Wrapped Text

If you use hanging indents for some of your paragraphs, you may wonder why they don't look right when they wrap on the ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Getting Rid of Spaces in Cells

Importing data into Excel that was generated in other programs can have some interesting side effects. For instance, you ...

Discover More

Viewing Formula Results

When editing information in a cell, you may need to know the result of a portion of your formula. The shortcut described ...

Discover More

Uncovering and Removing Links

Excel allows you to reference data in other workbooks by establishing links to that data. If you later want to get rid of ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is one less than 2?

2019-09-26 16:41:10

BFerguson

For Years I have wondered if there was an automatic way to stack words in a cell. Too many years. Thank you.


2015-09-19 06:38:50

Krishna Kumar N

Just when you think you know something about Excel, you produce such a simple tip but that is immensely valuable! Makes you wonder what one really knows! Thanks for the great tip


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.