Excel tip: Alt+Enter works in formulas, too!

I’ve been using Excel for exactly thirty years – I still have a Macintosh floppy disk with MS Excel version 0.9 – so you’d think I know my way around Excel pretty well.

Yes I do, but that’s not to say that I don’t still learn something new. Pivot tables? I remember my dad trying to explain the concept to me twenty-five years ago but I never understood them well enough to use them, until I changed jobs in 2010 and it became a focus.

Today though, I came across something that blew my mind, and that was not because it’s complicated but because it’s so obvious and yet invisible:

In my current job, I am regularly confronted with huge ugly formulas that are incredibly difficult to read, and not even Excel’s color-coded parentheses can save me:

Excel formula

Good luck parsing this…

I came across this serendipitous Excel tip that basically reveals that Alt+Enter works in formulas, too! Let’s try that:

Excel formula

Much better!

I know and use Alt+Enter in text fields all the time but I had no idea that it works in formulas, too. Wow!

“Why wouldn’t it,” you say, and you’re right – but I just never thought of trying that. This adds one more trick to my toolbox that I’ll probably never forget.

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