How to Press Enter in Excel Without Changing Cells (2 Easy Ways)

Pressing the Enter key indicates the inserted data is accepted. The selection then moves into the cell below usually. This process ensures a quick workflow for a vertical data entry sequence. The same incident happens horizontally with the Tab key.

In this Excel tutorial, we are going to demonstrate how to press Enter without changing cells.

We can change in Excel’s settings for the Enter key to keep the selection from moving. There is also another shortcut- Ctrl+Enter to keep the selection in place after entering data.

how to press enter without changing cells

2 Ways of Pressing Enter in Excel Without Changing Cells

Suppose, we have the following dataset containing company names with their revenues and employee counts in the range B4:D10.

incomplete dataset

We are going to insert the final data and after pressing Enter, the selection will move down.

selection moving down after pressing enter

In case you want to press the Enter key after an entry and don’t move down, there are two ways:

Making a Change in Excel Option

You can modify the Excel options to set what happens after you press the Enter key.

Follow the steps below to enable pressing Enter in Excel without changing cells:

  1. Select File from the ribbon.
    Clicking the File Tab
  2. Then select Options. After selecting Options, the Excel Options dialog box will appear on the screen.
    Options in Excel.
  3. Next, select the Advanced option from there.
    Excel Options Dialog Box.
  4. Uncheck the After pressing Enter, move selection.
  5. Click OK.
    Excel Advanced Options.

Finally, pressing Enter will not change cells.

cell is not changing after pressing enter

Using Shortcut Key to Press Enter Without Jumping to Next Cells

If you press the Ctrl+Enter button together, then you will be able to press Enter without changing cells. And the cell will still be selected as before.

Here is a detailed demonstration of the method:

  1. Go into the Edit mode of a cell by pressing F2 or double-clicking the cell.
    We have selected cell B5 for the demonstration.
    Clicking on Cell.
  2. Insert the data for the cell.
    Adding more Text.
  3. Now, if you press Ctrl+Enter together, then the cursor will disappear. But the cell will be still active (shown in the below image).
    Active Cell.

How to Start a New Line Without Changing Cells in Excel

In other applications, we use Enter for a line break. In Excel, pressing the Enter key usually moves the selection one cell below. Excel’s cells need line breaks in some practical cases too.

The combination for a line break within a cell is Alt+Enter.

Follow the steps below to create a new line without changing cells in Excel:

  1. Select the cell for editing by pressing F2 or double-clicking on the cell.
    We have selected B5 for the demonstration.
    Selecting Active Cell.
  2. Now, press the Alt+Enter buttons together.
    You will see the cursor has moved to the new line.
    Moving to New Line.
  3. Now, you can type anything you want to add in the new line.
    Writing Text in New Line.

Finally, move to another cell and the data will be saved.

line break in excel cell

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Pressing “Enter” in Excel serves multiple purposes, depending on the context. When entering data, pressing Enter confirms the input and moves the cursor to the next cell in the column or row. We can change the option to stay in the same cell after the incident. Or, we can press the Ctrl+Enter key.

Feel free to comment if something seems difficult to understand or anything we might have missed here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to change what happens when you press Enter in Excel?

To change how the Enter key will behave in Excel, follow these steps:

  1. Go to File > Options.
  2. In the Excel Options, go to Advanced > Editing options.
  3. Check After pressing Enter, move selection.
  4. Select the direction from the Direction drop-down menu.

After that, the selection will move towards that direction after pressing Enter.

What is the use of Ctrl+Enter in Excel?

Usually, pressing the Ctrl+Enter combination exits the edit mode. This keeps the selection in the edited cell instead of moving to another cell.

In some cases, pressing the combination after selecting a range replicates the formula for all of the cells in the selection.

What is the difference between Enter and Tab in Excel?

Both the Enter and Tab keys end the data entry of a cell. The Enter key stops the data entry and moves the selection downward. Meanwhile, the Tab key stops the entry and moves the selection to the right.

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Maruf Hasan
Maruf Hasan

Maruf Hasan, a BSc Electrical & Electronic Engineering graduate from Ahsanullah University of Science & Technology, boasts over a year of service as an Excel & VBA Content Developer at Exceldemy. He authored 30+ insightful articles and offers solutions to diverse Excel challenges. Maruf's exceptional content reflects his passion for Microsoft Office, problem-solving, and writing. Committed to simplifying complex processes, he significantly contributes to Exceldemy and is deeply enthusiastic about continuous learning in Microsoft Office Suite and data... Read Full Bio

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