May 12, 2014

Quick Tip: Hard Return Inside Spreadsheet Cell

I am using Microsoft Excel to help me organize a large amount of text data. Each major topic subtopics, several subtopics have closely related items. I would like to group the closely related items so they visually appear on the same line as the major topic.
I could keep each item in its own cell and merge row headers. I could also keep each item in its own cell and repeat row headers. But what I really want to do is place multiple strands in a single cell, with each strand having its own line. Like this:


There is a simple keyboard shortcut that performs this task:
  1. Select the cell.
  2. Place your cursor in the formula bar where you will insert the hard return. 
  3. Simultaneously press the Alt and Enter keys.

This works in both Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets on cells formatted as text.