How to Add a New Line in a Formula in Google Sheets

Dave | November 25, 2022 |

In order to use line breaks, new lines or soft returns within a formula you need to enter them in as part of the formula definition. Google Sheets has a CHAR function that returns any Unicode character from its code or number. The decimal Unicode for a new line (line feed) is 10. So using CHAR(10) in a formula will output a newline.

If the text in your cell doesn’t come from a formula, it is possible to simply type newlines into cells to break things up to suit you.

Line feed or new lines using CHAR


This function converts a number into a character according to the current Unicode table.

Google Sheets CHAR Help

CHAR takes 1 parameter, table_number, the number of the Unicode character to return. You must give this number in DECIMAL format. Many lists of Unicode characters show hexadecimal, so make sure you either first convert to decimal using HEX2DEC or look at a table that shows decimal codes.

If you look at the Unicode character table of control codes on Wikipedia, you can see that the decimal code for line feed is 10. So CHAR(10) will return a line feed (or new line) into our formula.

Here’s an example. We use CHAR to insert line breaks into a formula by concatenating quoted text strings and newlines together using ampersand (&). We could also do this using the CONCATENATE() function, but & is easier to read when you understand its use.

="This line of text breaks here >"&char(10)&"and here >"&char(10)&"It's as easy as that"
Screenshot of a formula containing char(10) to add newlines to text
Line breaks in a formula

You can also use the CHAR function to insert any other characters found in those Unicode tables into a Google Sheet, as below where we use char(937) and char(928) to add the Greek symbols Omega and Sigma into a cell.

Use CHAR to add Greek symbols Omega and Sigma into a formula
Omega and Sigma using CHAR

I'm a Google Product Expert and mainly post on the subject of Google Sheets.

I've been a software engineer for over 20 years. The constant through all that time? Spreadheets.... Even though I can write programs I use them.... a lot. Sometimes there's just no better alternative!

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