Learn how to add line breaks to Instagram and improve your audience engagement

Learn how to add line breaks to Instagram and improve your audience engagement

three different ways that you can create line breaks within your Instagram that are super easy

Instagram automatically remove all the line breaks (they are the gaps between paragraphs) as soon as you’ve posted your perfectly crafted caption.

Which is pretty darn frustrating because you’ve carefully written and formatted your words so it doesn’t look like a daunting wall of text. And then the Gods over at Instagram go ahead and remove all that formatting - without warning. And if this was the first time it happened to you, you might have thought it was a glitch. So you edited the post and painstakingly re-added all those line breaks. Only to see them disappear again when you hit ‘done’. Not cool Insta, not cool.

I am going to give you three different ways that you can create line breaks within your Instagram that are super easy and doesn’t require switching back and forth from your notepad or any other wizardry.

You may be wondering why not having access to line breaks is so frustrating - sure it’s a waste of time the first time you make that mistake, but you remember for the future and don’t do it again 🤷‍♀️, right? Well yes, but that’s not the whole truth of the story. Line breaks are incredibly important especially as a brand trying to engage an audience on a channel where it’s difficult to hold anyone’s attention for 2 seconds.

Line breaks turn large posts into manageable chunks that don’t seem like daunting AF mountains of text. Line breaks imbue a sense of pace and rhythm that emphasise certain portions of text, slow the reader down or speed them up. And finally it’s another way of adding brand personality that sets your brand apart from the crowd and engage your audience.

Imagine reading this article as just one whole paragraph - lord! We all would have bounced as soon as the page loaded. See, line breaks are important and Instagram have taken them away! Or have they?

it seems like a lot of steps, but it’s really not when you’re in the throes of writing your caption.

Here are 3 super simple options that will help break up your text - I have two really good dupes for you and one 100% genuine guaranteed line break that even the Instagram Gods will let you use.

Option # 1 - Nifty Punctuation or Plain Text.

This is by far the simplest way of creating line breaks and suits people who use both their phone or a scheduler system (like Hootsuite, Planoly or Buffer) to post to Instagram for them.

Basically this is where you use a little bit of punctuation (like a full stop) as a placeholder for your “line break” to stop Instagram seeing it as a blank line and shifting your next paragraph up. It ends up looking like this

That looks easy, I hear you exclaim. And it is, but there is one golden rule. At the end of your paragraph make sure there are no blank spaces after your last character and after the punctuation on your line break otherwise the Instagram Gods will push everything together.

  1. Type your text and confirm there’s no space after the end of your last sentence (phone users double check, as your phone loves to chuck them in)

  2. Press enter key (on an iPhone select ‘123’ on your keyboard and voila! The enter key has appeared or on an Android this seems to change depending on the model you’re using)

  3. Enter your desired punctuation or plain text and then making sure there are no spaces after it, press enter again

Written down it seems like a lot of steps, but it’s really not when you’re in the throes of writing your caption.

Option # 2 - Emoji it up

This option is great if you want to add a little bit of eye-popping colour to your caption or there’s a particular emoji that would suit your brand. There’s also some emojis in the symbols section that are a bolder option than just using plain text - like the GoPro example below.

  @GoPro  used the circle emoji symbol for a similar but bolder alternative to a full stop

@GoPro used the circle emoji symbol for a similar but bolder alternative to a full stop

This is not that difficult to do either - just pick your chosen emoji either for every post or different one for each post (there’s no need to play favourites 😂) and then follow these steps:

  1. Type your text and confirm there’s no space after the end of your last sentence (phone users double check, as your phone loves to chuck them in)

  2. Press enter key (on an iPhone select ‘123’ on your keyboard and voila! The enter key has appeared or on an Android this seems to change depending on the model you’re using)

  3. Enter your emoji and then making sure there are no spaces after it, press enter again

See, easy and also almost identical as option #1 😂

If you use a scheduler on a computer to write your posts and you’re not sure where on earth your emojis are, then you’re in luck! These keyboard shortcuts for emojis will speed up your process 1000%

Mac users - ⌃ + ⌘ + Space Bar  (ctrl + cmd + space bar)

Desktop Users - windows key + ;

You’re welcome and yes, if this is the first time you’ve heard of this I have made your year.


Option # 3 - The actual line break that’s not really a line break



This one is the most effort to get started with straight away but once you’ve set it up it’s not really that hard at all to continue doing with each post. This option works if you’re using both a scheduler on your computer to create a majority of your post, or if you post on the fly with your phone. However it is a lot easier if you’re doing it on your phone, my experience in using this method with a scheduler has been a little hit and miss.



This method uses the perfect number of spaces in order to trick the Instagram which, lets face it, would be a total pain in the arse to do individually for every line break in every single post. So we’ll set up some auto-text on your phone so for a little code you can automatically add all the spaces.



{ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀}


👆 The line break that’s not actually a line break is the 👆

magical seemingly blank space between two brackets above



The code is what you type and it is automatically replaced with your preferred text, or in this case the exact number of spaces needed to please the Instagram Gods.


iPhone

  1. Copy and paste the gap above between the two brackets above

  2. Go to Settings > keyboard > text replacement

  3. Click the ‘+’ in the top right hand corner to add a new entry

  4. Paste the space that you copied in step one under ‘phrase’ and then enter your the code that you’d like to use in the ‘shortcut’ box. Your code should be something that’s not easily confused with anything else, like ‘ggg’

    Note: your iPhone may throw in an extra space which will cause the Instagram Gods great distress and they’ll remove the line breaks. If this happens just remember to hit backspace after you’ve entered

  5. Hit ‘save’!

  6. To use the code whilst texting you either need to select the right option from your predictive text suggestions or hit ‘space’ after typing in your code. Note, that if you used ‘space’ to select the suggestion you’ll need to get rid of that one extra space.

Android

Now I do not have an android phone, but Google has told me that this something like the instructions for Android. I assume that this probably wont work exactly for all Androids so just Google the instructions for your phone model if you’re totally lost.

  1. Copy and paste the gap above between the two brackets above

  2. Settings > Language and Input > Keyboard > Text Shortcuts

  3. Click the ‘+’ in the top right hand corner to add a new entry

  4. Paste the space that you copied in step one under ‘phrase’ and then enter your the code that you’d like to use in the ‘shortcut’ box. Your code should be something that’s not easily confused with anything else, like ‘ggg’

    Note: your phone may throw in an extra space which will cause the Instagram Gods great distress and they’ll remove the line breaks. If this happens just remember to hit backspace after you’ve entered

  5. Then select ‘Add’ to save the input.

  6. To use the code whilst texting you either need to select the right option from your predictive text suggestions or hit ‘space’ after typing in your code. Note, that if you used ‘space’ to select the suggestion you’ll need to get rid of that one extra space.

Then in order to use your brand spanking super fancy new code Instagram you just need to hit enter when you’re ready to finish that paragraph, enter your code. Easy peasy!


Desktop / Mac / Post Scheduler

Theoretically this should be pretty darn easy as you just need to save or copy + paste the “magic spaces” somewhere easily accessible on your computer - like notes, stickys, etc. And then you can copy and paste as you craft your captions.

If you’re finding that once you post, all your caption has been pushed together then you’ll just need to edit it and remove any additional spaces. If you’re not sure what I am talking about check out the before and after 👇

Squawk Digital - Incorrect line breaks in Instagram
Squawk Digital - Correct Line breaks in Instagram

And that is pretty much it! It’s not that difficult and it will change how people interact and engage with the content that you post on Instagram as they’ll be more likely to consumer and react rather than run away crying from the wall of text.

If I’ve just put you into an Instagram marketing vortex and you’re wondering what else you could or should be doing for your businesses Instagram marketing head on over to read about the basic mistakes most businesses make with their social media marketing or if you think you have this marketing game totally nailed I challenge you that marketing is about more than you think it is.

Email marketing is the most underrated weapon in your arsenal.

Email marketing is the most underrated weapon in your arsenal.