Module 8 Discussion: Hard Return within a Cell

For visual reasons, there are times that you may wish to have multiple lines of text within an Excel cell rather than one long string. Do you know how to do this? Hint: you don’t want to use the TAB or space bar button because this spacing will be incorrect if you resize your cells! Instead you want to place what is known as a “hard return” (or a new line of text) within the cell.

A hard return is very easy to insert in a cell. Simply type your first line of text. When you reach the end of that line, hold down the Alt button of your keyboard as you hit the Enter (or Return) button. A new line will be started inside the cell.
An excel sheet is open with 4 lines of text in cell A1. There is a green arrow pointing at the cell.
You can add as many lines of text as you would like this way. When you are finished with that cell, simply hit Enter or Tab as normal to proceed to the next cell. Your cell should automatically resize to accommodate the multiple hard returns you have created in the cell. Best of all, if you manually resize your cells, columns, or rows, the hard returns will remain in place and the separate lines of text will remain separate lines of text!
An excel sheet is open with 3 lines of text in cell A1. There is a green arrow pointing at the cell.

Discussion Questions

  • In what situations would a hard return be useful?
  • Would you ever use this feature? Why or why not?

Share your opinions below and respond to two of your classmates’ thoughts.