When you want to create a line break (line feed) in a cell, you press Alt + Enter, to start a new line. You can put one or more line breaks in a cell, to make the contents easier to read.
Find a Line Break
Line breaks are easy to add, but a little trickier to remove.
To find specific text in Excel, you can use Ctrl + F to open the Find and Replace dialog box. However, if you try to type Alt + Enter in the Find What box, you’ll just hear a beep from your computer. Excel won’t let you enter that shortcut.
Instead of using Alt + Enter in the Find What box, you can use a special shortcut -- Ctrl + J -- to enter a line break.
A line break is character 10 in the ASCII character set, and the Ctrl + J shortcut is the ASCII control code for character 10.
Find and Replace a Line Break
To replace a line break with a space character:
- Select the cells that you want to search
- On the keyboard, press Ctrl + H to open the Find and Replace dialog box, with the Replace tab active
- Click in the Find What box
- On the keyboard, press Ctrl + J to enter the line break character -- NOTE: Nothing will appear in the Find What box
- Press the Tab key on the keyboard, to move to the Replace With box
- Type a space character
- Click Find Next or Find All, to find the cells with line breaks.
- Click Replace or Replace All, to replace the line breaks with space characters.
Watch the Video
To see the steps for adding a line break, and then finding and replacing it with a space character, please watch this short video tutorial.