How to Merge Cells in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Merging cells in Excel can help you organize and format your data more effectively. By combining two or more cells into one, you can create a larger space for headings or labels. It’s an easy process that can make your spreadsheets look cleaner and more professional.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Merge Cells in Excel

Before we dive into the steps, remember that merging cells in Excel will combine the selected cells into one larger cell. This is useful for creating headers or grouping similar data together.

Step 1: Select the Cells You Want to Merge

Click and drag your mouse across the cells you want to merge.

When you select multiple cells, Excel highlights them with a border to indicate that they are selected. Make sure you select all the cells you want to merge before moving on to the next step.

Step 2: Click the ‘Merge & Center’ Button

Find this button in the ‘Home’ tab under the ‘Alignment’ group.

The ‘Merge & Center’ button has an icon that looks like two cells merging into one. Clicking this button will merge your selected cells and center the text within the new merged cell.

Step 3: Adjust Text Alignment if Necessary

If you don’t want your text centered, click the ‘Merge Across’ or ‘Merge Cells’ options.

‘Merge Across’ will merge cells in each row individually, while ‘Merge Cells’ will merge all selected cells into one without centering the text. You can find these options by clicking the small arrow next to the ‘Merge & Center’ button.

After completing these steps, you will have a merged cell that spans across the originally selected cells.

Tips for Merging Cells in Excel

  • Always make sure you only have the content you want to keep in the top-left cell before merging, as merging will only keep the content from this cell and discard the rest.
  • Remember that once cells are merged, they cannot be sorted or filtered like individual cells.
  • You can use the ‘Unmerge Cells’ option to revert merged cells back to individual cells if needed.
  • Utilize merged cells to create clear and concise headers for your data columns and rows.
  • Be mindful of how merged cells might affect the layout and functionality of your spreadsheet, especially if you plan to share it with others.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I unmerge cells in Excel?

Select the merged cell and click ‘Unmerge Cells’ in the ‘Alignment’ group under the ‘Home’ tab.

Unmerging cells will separate the previously merged cell back into individual cells. The content that was in the merged cell will remain in the top-left cell.

Can I merge non-adjacent cells in Excel?

No, you cannot merge non-adjacent cells. Cells need to be next to each other to be merged.

Merging is only possible with cells that are adjacent because it combines the cells into one continuous space. Non-adjacent cells would create gaps in the data, which is not possible.

What happens to the data in the cells when they are merged?

The data in the top-left cell will be kept, and the data in the other cells will be deleted.

Because only one cell’s worth of data can be displayed in a merged cell, Excel keeps the data from the top-left cell as a default. Be sure to copy any important data from the other cells before merging if needed.

Can I merge cells both horizontally and vertically at the same time?

Yes, you can merge cells both horizontally and vertically to create a larger cell.

When you select a range of cells that spans across rows and columns and merge them, Excel will create one large cell that covers all the selected cells.

Why can’t I sort my Excel spreadsheet after merging cells?

Merged cells can interfere with the sorting function because they span across multiple rows or columns.

When cells are merged, they become a single entity, which can disrupt the sorting process. You may need to unmerge cells before sorting your data.


  1. Select the cells you want to merge.
  2. Click the ‘Merge & Center’ button.
  3. Adjust text alignment if necessary.


Merging cells in Excel is a powerful feature that allows you to organize your data better and provide more impactful visual representations. Whether you’re creating headers or grouping related information, merging cells can help you achieve a cleaner, more professional-looking spreadsheet. Keep in mind the tips provided and the answers to common questions to avoid common pitfalls. With a bit of practice, merging cells will become second nature – enhancing both the functionality and appearance of your Excel workbooks.

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