How to Add Paragraph Breaks in Cells in Excel for OS X

By William Pullman

Customize your Excel spreadsheets by making paragraphs within cells.
i Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Microsoft Excel spreadsheet cells can handle more than just numbers. You can expand individual cells and enter text to explain the data on your company spreadsheets. Many of the same features found in word processing software, including paragraph breaks, are available when typing in Excel cells. In most word processing programs, as well as other software, you can create new paragraphs by pressing the Return button. Pressing "Return" when typing in a cell on Microsoft Excel for Mac highlights the next cell. A different key combination is needed to create a new paragraph in an Excel cell.

Open the Excel file, and double-click the cell where you want to add a paragraph break.

Click at the end of the text where you want to place the paragraph break to place the cursor.

Press and hold "Control-Option" or "Command-Option," and press the "Return" button twice.


Press the "Return" button once while holding "Control-Option" or "Command-Option" if you only want to create a line break.


Information in this article applies to Microsoft Excel: Mac 2011. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.