How to merge and unmerge cells in Microsoft Excel in 4 ways, to clean up your data and formatting

Mark Wilson/GettyThere’s a simple menu that will let you merge cells in Excel.

  • You can merge cells in Microsoft Excel as a quick and easy way to create titles, or to spread data neatly across columns and rows.
  • There are several different types of merges you can perform in Excel, but note that all merges will delete all data except the values in the upper-leftmost cell.
  • You can also unmerge cells, but they may then need editing to be realigned and resized correctly.
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Merging cells is an easy task in Excel, and there are several different default merge styles. You can “Merge and Centre” (ideal for a title), “Merge Across” (which merges a cell across columns), or “Merge Cells” (which combines cells across both columns and rows).

In all cases, this will only bring over the content of the cell on the upper-leftmost cell. If there’s other data across the cells you’re trying to merge, you’ll receive a warning saying that merging cells only keeps the upper-left values and discards all others.

How to merge cells in Excel

How to merge and centre

1. Highlight the cells you want to merge and centre.

2. Click on “Merge & Centre,” which should be displayed in the “Alignment” section of the toolbar at the top of your screen.

Mergecells1Ryan Ariano/Business InsiderThe top row of cells here is selected.

3. The cells will now be merged with the data centered in the merged cell.

Mergecells2Ryan Ariano/Business InsiderThe selected cells will merge to become one bigger cell.

How to merge across

1. Highlight the cells you want to merge.

2. Click on the arrow just next to “Merge and Centre.”

3. Scroll down to click on “Merge Across.”

Mergecells3Ryan Ariano/Business InsiderSelecting ‘Merge Across’ will specifically merge only rows.

4. The value on the far-left will now be the sole value for the merged cells, though it will keep previous alignments steady. For example, a left-aligned value will stay in the left side of the fully merged cell.

Mergecells4Ryan Ariano/Business InsiderAlignments don’t shift.

How to merge cells

1. Highlight the cells you want to merge.

2. Click on the arrow just next to “Merge and Centre.”

3. Scroll down to click on “Merge Cells”.

Mergecells5Ryan Ariano/Business InsiderThis will merge both rows and columns into one large cell, with alignment intact.

4. This will merge the content of the upper-left cell across all highlighted cells.

How to unmerge cells

1. Highlight the combined cell you want to unmerge.

2. Click on the arrow just next to “Merge and Centre.”

3. Click on “Unmerge.”

Mergecells8Ryan Ariano/Business Insider‘Unmerge’ will split the cells back into normal size and order.

4. Note that unmerging cells won’t bring back data previously erased by the merging.

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