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How to add new lines to a cell entry (not wrap the text) in an Excel spreadsheet

    Question

  • I was instructed by Microsft Chat support to post my question to this forum.  I have searched for help on-line, and have not been able to find anything related to what I am looking for.  Note that I work for a large company and have Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2003 installed, so my question pertains to my installation of Microsoft Excel 2003.

    I would like to be able to add new line(s) to in only 1 cell in a row.  I know how to wrap the text in a cell, but that is not what I want.  Instead, I would like to be able to enter multiple lines in a  cell (alll within only one column) which are all like subcategories that apply to the selected row.  What I don't want to do is repeat the row n number of times if n is the number of lines I'd like in in the one cell.  I can't find a "new line" character.  I tried Shift-Enter without luck.  Is this supported?  Perhaps in a newer version of Excel?

    There is a 2nd part.  Assuming I can have multiple lines in a single cell within a row... I'd like to be able to sort all the rows by the column that has all the cells with possibly more than one line per cell (some cells in a row will have more sub-categories than others).  It would be as if the tool could expand each cell with multiple entries into multiple rows each with only one entry for that cell.  Then it could be seen which rows match each sub-category of the cells which had the multiple rows.  Or in other words, it could sort the rows by the by rows which have the same sub-category.  In this case it would be OK to have separate rows for each of the sub-categories.  It's only when I'm sorting on other columns, that I would not want separate rows for each of the lines in each cell.  I'd rather have the rows differ in depth depending on how many lines are within the multi-lined cell.

    I'd be happy to try and explain why I don't want to have repeated lines to represent the multiple entries in the one cell if you would like.  Please let me know if there is anything I need to clarify better.  Thanks!

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010 8:27 AM

Answers

  • To add a carriage return/line feed to the text in a cell, press [Alt+Enter].

    As for your question on sorting, I'm afraid your convoluted explanation made little sense to me. Perhaps an example would make things clearer.

    However, I can tell you that Excel cannot sort text within a cell. It considers all the text of a cell to be one item for sorting purposes.


    Simon Jones http://pcpro.co.uk
    Wednesday, June 16, 2010 8:41 AM

All replies

  • To add a carriage return/line feed to the text in a cell, press [Alt+Enter].

    As for your question on sorting, I'm afraid your convoluted explanation made little sense to me. Perhaps an example would make things clearer.

    However, I can tell you that Excel cannot sort text within a cell. It considers all the text of a cell to be one item for sorting purposes.


    Simon Jones http://pcpro.co.uk
    Wednesday, June 16, 2010 8:41 AM
  • It sounds like you want to sort within the cell as well as outside it.  You need to consider a different data layout to do that.  In other words you can't have multple line cells sorting within.  Try putting each level of detail in its own column as below where levels are in column A and the A, B, C's are in column B... Then you can do your sort

    Stage    Level

    A            1

    A            3

    B            1

    ...


    If this answer solves your problem, please check Mark as Answered. If this answer helps, please click the Vote as Helpful button. Cheers, Shane Devenshire
    Wednesday, June 16, 2010 3:25 PM
  • Thank you for your post and helpful answer.  Perhaps what I am really looking for are ways to view/filter the data.  I would like to be able to perform sorts by a select ordering of columns and also possibly hide column(s) as part of the sort.  How can I find out more on how to do this?

    Aren't there also ways to display the data in different formats such as bar charts?  Obviously, I need education on the use of Excel.  Is there a good source of information on-line that can help me?  I must not be looking in the right places.  Thank again!

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010 7:40 PM
  • Thank you, Shane!  I'd also be able to sort by Level, for example

    Stage        Level

    A                 1

    B                 1

    A                 3

     

    And along those same lines, I would like to be able to sort by multiple columns in a select order.  I'd like for there to be separate views of the spreadsheet with saved sort orders.  And I'd also like to be able to hide select column(s).  How can I learn more on how to do this with Excel 2003, and are there even better capabilities with later versions of Excel?  Sorry... I don't mean to bother this forum with what must be basic questions.  If you could direct me to where I should be looking for this information, I'd appreciate it.  Thanks so much!

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010 7:47 PM
  • Hi Wendy
     
    As far as sorting is concerned, it has already been pointed out to you that
    you need different columns containing the Sort values.
    In Xl2003, you can sort by up to 3 columns, in any one sort.
    You could have one sort which was by column A, Ascending, B Descending and C
    Ascending - for example.
    (NB The columns do not need to be consecutive)
    In another sort, there could be different columns used as the sort key, and
    different criteria (Ascending or Descending)
     
     
    Any of these Sorts could be saved as Custom Views through View>Custom View
     
    Equally, you can choose to Hide or Show any columns.
     
    You could also use Data>Group and Outline>Group
    Supposing you selected columns B:E, the applied Grouping as decribed above,
    a symbol would appear above your column headers with a "-" sign. Clicking
    this would hide those columns and the symbol would change to "+"
    Clicking the "+" would reveal the columns again.
     
    Hopefully this will give you a few more things to investigate.
    Post back if you are still having problems.
     
    --
     
    Regards
    Roger Govier
     
    "Wendy T" wrote in message
    news:f1a77922-f152-4490-834a-b84d1fd2a254@communitybridge.codeplex.com...
    Thank you, Shane! I'd also be able to sort by Level, for example
     
    Stage Level
    A 1
    B 1
    A 3
     
    And along those same lines, I would like to be able to sort by multiple
    columns in a select order. I'd like for there to be separate views of the
    spreadsheet with saved sort orders. And I'd also like to be able to hide
    select column(s). How can I learn more on how to do this with Excel 2003,
    and are there even better capabilities with later versions of Excel?
    Sorry... I don't mean to bother this forum with what must be basic
    questions. If you could direct me to where I should be looking for this
    information, I'd appreciate it. Thanks so much!
     
     
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    The message was checked by ESET Smart Security.
     
     
     
     
     

    Roger Govier Microsoft Excel MVP
    Wednesday, June 16, 2010 10:21 PM
  • With apple it's Option+Command+Enter for a carriage return.
    Wednesday, October 30, 2013 1:22 PM