Soft return

Updated: 12/31/2020 by Computer Hope
Soft return

A soft break, soft return, or soft enter is a carriage return automatically inserted by the software program, usually because of a word wrap. Soft returns allow you to continue typing without having to press Enter (may also be labeled as Return) manually at the end of each line or margin. The picture shows soft returns with formatting marks enabled. The soft return symbol is an arrow point down and to the left, like the arrow seen on many Enter or Return keys.

Example of creating a soft return

Below is a text box that demonstrates soft returns. As you type text in the below box, you can continue to type without having to press Enter. When the text reaches the right edge of the text box, it automatically moves to the next line. Additionally, if your browser supports the ability to resize the text box, you can resize it to see how the soft returns change depending on the available space. If these returns were hard returns, the location of the return would always remain in the same position.

New paragraph vs. new line

In word processing programs like Microsoft Word and some other text programs, when you press Enter, the program creates a new paragraph instead of going to the next line. In these programs, press and hold down Shift and Enter at the same time to move to the next line.

Hard Return, Return, Word processor terms