Need to join two cells into one? Let’s learn how to merge cells in Excel so that two cells (or more!) become one.
Merge Cells in Excel
To merge cells in Excel, start by highlighting multiple cells. This can be across multiple columns or multiple rows.
Then, find the Merge & Center option on the ribbon on the Home tab. Click on Merge & Center, or choose Merge Across from the dropdown. (The options work basically the same, but Merge Across doesn’t center the cell content.)
Keyboard shortcut: Alt + H + M
Be careful while working with this feature! If you’ve already entered data, merging cells will wipe out your data. When you merge cells in Excel, you’ll wipe out all but the data in the upper-left cell.
How To Unmerge Cells in Excel
Decide you want to unmerge cells in Excel? That’s easy!
Just click on a merged cell. Then find the Merge & Center dropdown, and choose Unmerge Cells.
The content will move back into a single cell, and you’ll re-establish the adjacent cells.
How to Merge Cells in Excel Across A Selection
Many Excel experts are against merging cells. There are good reasons why. It makes it difficult to copy and paste data, apply changes, and manage your spreadsheet. You might have gotten an error like “Cannot change part of a merged cell” while working in Excel.
But, merging cells is useful for the reasons you already know like putting a header row covering multiple columns. So, what’s a better way to merge cells?
Let’s learn center across selection. It centers text over selected cells but doesn’t merge them together. Basically, your content will appear to cover the cells, but it’s actually only in a single cell.
Start by selecting text in a cell, as well as the other columns to center across. Basically, select the area that you want your text to center across.
Then, right-click and choose Format Cells > Alignment. Choose Center Across Selection in the Horizontal dropdown.
This approach keeps every cell working and doesn’t “remove” cells. It’s a more flexible feature, and the best way to get the benefits of merging without breaking Excel’s grid.