How can I enter a soft return character (Shift-Enter) on iOS?

4 Answers 4


There is actually a way by using the microphone symbol on your keyboard and then saying “nieuwe regel”. That is Dutch for “new line” but I am not sure what the exact english equivolant is. But it works, it creates a soft return.


The answer is actually surprisingly simple:

  1. Say you are on WhatsApp, typing a text to be sent. You want to insert a new paragraph after a stop punctuation sign.
  2. Press the Shift key to make sure is not enabled.
  3. Now press and hold the Shift key and press the Return key once. There's your soft return!
    • You can actually press the Return key (with the Shift key being held) more than once should you want to insert further returns in your text.
  • 1
    Please note that the question is how to enter a soft return on iOS, not macOS.
    – oa-
    Sep 26, 2017 at 21:12
  • @oa- How does this answer not apply to iOS?
    – grg
    Sep 26, 2017 at 21:29
  • I was (mistakenly) under the impression that @AntonioMario explained a solution for macOS using a hardware keyboard. The answer does not, however, work as described (tested with iOS 11.0.1 and multiple apps).
    – oa-
    Sep 26, 2017 at 21:53
  • 1
    Works as described on iOS 11 in Messages and HipChat app, for example. This implies that this answer works for iOS, but that individual apps may not support it. This should be the accepted answer.
    – Mogsdad
    Jun 26, 2018 at 12:00

A soft line break is not supported by the iOS keyboard (nor, to my knowledge, by SwiftKey or Swype), but you can copy/paste an existing soft return from any other text.

I cannot give an example here, because the Stack Exchange markup doesn't know a soft return either. Instead, you can see this in action in the following Quora thread: How do I enter a soft return character (Shift-Enter) on iOS?


Extending zoagli's own answer, though again not a perfect solution as it adds potentially unwanted spaces you need to go back & tidy up.

Copy/paste a soft return from somewhere, then in System Prefs > Keyboard > Text you can add a new Replace, for instance sret, & paste the soft return to the With column.

That will then propagate over iCloud to your other devices & turn sret into a soft return - though not on SE, as previously mentioned [unless you look at this answer in Edit]. It will also have a leading & trailing space, which you may need to go back & trim.

  • That sounds brilliant! However, I didn't get it to work on my iOS 8.3 (iPhone 5). It seems to save the keyboard shortcut without the soft return (and saves a space character instead).
    – zoagli
    Jun 2, 2015 at 12:49
  • 1
    Hmm... doesn't even seem to have propagated to my phone. It's a trick I've used for all kinds of things before- guess it just doesn't like this one:(
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 3, 2015 at 9:56

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