When accessing a spreadsheet in Google Drive on a computer with a keyboard, I can enter a new line in a single cell by pressing alt+enter.

My keyboard on my Android doesn't even have an alt key.

How do I enter a new line on my Android device?

For a keyboard on my Android, I'm currently using Swype, but I am assuming, and hoping, there is some kind of general approach that is not specific to a particular keyboard.

  • 2
    I'm afraid there is no "general approach" for that. You might want to take a look into my list on Keyboards & Input Methods, which holds several candidates like Hackers Keyboard which support such "additional keys". – Izzy Sep 12 '14 at 9:53
  • Idea #1 to try: create a "reference document" with a single cell where you put in the "new line" character in the cell on a PC and then use copy and paste on your Android device. Idea #2: does Google sheets support macros? – Gdalya Sep 18 '14 at 17:35
  • PERFECT ANSWER, RIGHT HERE GUYS: webapps.stackexchange.com/questions/25359/… – user110230 May 27 '15 at 1:05
  • @user110230, that answer only applies to desktop computers, not to Android phones. – Questioner May 27 '15 at 6:24

Easiest way: add an extra letter at the end of the line. Select that letter. Hit enter. The letter will be replaced with a new line.

  • 3
    This is the only right answer – Carles Sala May 4 '17 at 21:08
  • 1
    It has some important caveats: 1) It doesn't work with physical (bluetooth) keyboards, at leasst for me 2) it really needs to be a letter. If you select a space, it doesn't work. – Cheetah Feb 9 '18 at 2:14
  • It works with Google Pinyin, but does not work with Google Japanese keyboard – fefe Jun 23 '19 at 6:51
  • 1
    It doesn't work in the Google Spreadsheet app (didn't try on the webapp) – Thomas LAURENT Sep 22 '19 at 21:31

The function CHAR(10) will return a Line Feed.

Combining with functions like CONCATENATE() or & will give a new line. Example:

=CONCATENATE("First line"; CHAR(10); "Second line")
="First line"&CHAR(10)&"Second line"

The only way that I found so far is through the clipboard.

Using a source document with a line break, with some effort you could succeed in selecting just the line break, and then copy/paste it.

Even easier is to use an app such as "Unicode Pad" or "Unicode CharMap", both of which will find and then copy/paste any character. You'll need to look for LF, LINE FEED or U+000A.
Note that you won't "see" the character after you select it, it shows as a space for obvious reasons.
This still isn't as convenient as I would like it to be, but at least I found it to work reliably.


Mark the cell in which you want to have new lines.

At the top menu click the "A" next to the redo button.

Select submenu

in the lower screen section a modal pops up. There hit the tab "CELL".

Than activate "Wrap Text".

Cell + Wrap Text

Now this cell will do line-breaks on long text.

  • 1
    Wrapping is not the same as an inserted line break. – wbogacz Mar 14 '17 at 12:23
  • wbogacz is correct that this isn't a line break, but this is exactly what I was looking for. – Tom Wyllie Apr 30 '18 at 14:11

The highlight a throw-away character and hit enter trick, as well as the type everything into a text editor, then copy/paste it into the Google Sheets cell, both only work on Android devices. I have a Google Spreadsheet that I'm sharing with a client who has an iPhone, and she needs to be able to enter multiple lines within a cell. So I came up with just a little Google Apps Script code to do it on her iPhone (can be entered into the drop-down menu of the Google Spreadsheet, Tools >> Script editor):

function onEdit(e) {
    e.range.setValue(e.value.replace(/\\\\/g, '\\').replace(/ *\\n */g, '\n').replace(/\/g, '\\'));

Basically, that creates a function (that is automatically linked to a Google Sheets trigger), and will run every time a cell is edited. It simply replaces all of the "\n" characters in your text with a line-break. Make sure that's a backslash, and not a normal slash. For programmers, the "\n" is a special character that represents a carriage return within a string. The only possible exception where an accidental line-break might happen would be when trying to input a Windows path into a cell such as "C:\Users\John\Documents\news". So double-backslashes is the common workaround for Windows paths among programmers. So one could enter "C:\Users\John\Documents\news" or even just simply "C:\Users\John\Documents\news" (since \n is really the only string we're replacing at this point).

It's also possible to change the replacement characters, in case anyone is more familiar with HTML:

function onEdit(e) {
    e.range.setValue(e.value.replace(/ *<br *\/*> */ig, '\n'));

Since "<br>" is much more deliberate (people don't accidentally type that in unless they want a line-break), it makes for a simpler replace function, since we don't have to do an escape for double-backslashes. But personally, typing in the angled brackets from an Android touchscreen keyboard are a bit inconvenient to do so twice for every line-break...


  • Nice, I think this is by far the most convenient way! I used myself just " lb " (as in line break) to be the value to be replaced with the newline so I can just write "line 1 lb line 2" and don't even need to go to special characters :) – Hemaolle Aug 14 '20 at 8:44

The following trick worked for me: Ctrl + Enter

  • 6
    Mind to explain where Android devices have the Ctrl key? Note this site is about Android, not Desktop. – Izzy Oct 4 '18 at 13:14
  • I assume (but haven't tested) that this might work on 3rd-party keyboard apps that have Ctrl key like Hacker's Keyboard. – Andrew T. Oct 8 '19 at 7:09

I have succeeded by pressing several times Enter when typing a message, select all, copy it and paste it into a cell in a sheet.


Just select a line and press + (top right on the tool bar), you'll be offered to insert a row above or below or a link.

  • 1
    Note that the OP wants to insert a new line inside a cell, or probably should be called as line break instead... but not a new row. – Andrew T. May 14 '15 at 6:16

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.