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Add a New Line in a Message

April 2020 – by Per Christensson

Have you ever typed a message in an online form and pressed Enter to begin a new line only to find out it submitted your message? If pressing Enter (or Return on a Mac) submits the form, how do you add a line break? Here are a few workarounds.

  1. Hold Alt or Option when pressing Enter. Believe it or not, this is the standard way to force the Enter key to add a new line character rather than submit a form. For example, if you type a message in the Facebook Messenger website and press Enter, it will send whatever text you have typed so far to the recipient. If you hold Alt (or Option on a Mac) and press Enter, it will add a line break instead.
  2. Hold Shift when pressing Enter. A few websites and applications use Shift as the modifier key to enter a newline character. If Option doesn't work, try holding the Shift key when pressing Enter.
  3. Copy and paste a newline character. A foolproof method to add a line break is to copy a block of text with one or more line breaks and paste it into the text field. You can delete the text you don't need, but keep the line breaks.

Important: A line break or "return" is actually just a character like "a" or "b" called a newline character. When you copy a block of text with a line break, you are copying the invisible newline character along with the visible text.

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