How to Merge Cells in Excel in 2018 (+ Examples and Screenshots)

Jordan Wahl
Jordan Wahl  |  November 1, 2018

 If you’re finding yourself here, I’m guessing you need a little guidance on how to use Microsoft Excel.


While I’ve previously covered things like Excel formulas, how to subtract in Excelhow to multiply in Excel, and how to lock cells in Excel, this particular article will cover how to merge cells in Excel in Microsoft Excel 2018.

There are several ways to combine cells in Excel. In this article we will discuss:

How to merge cells in Excel

Merging cells in Excel allows you to combine the contents of several cells into one cell with one cell reference (the upper-left cell reference). By merging cells, only the content from the upper-left cell in the range will be retained.

The Merge & Center button, located on the top banner of the HOME tab, includes the following merging options:

  • Merge Cells – Merges the range into a single cell, but will not horizontally center the content
  • Merge & Center – Merges the range of cells into one cell and horizontally centers the content
  • Merge Across – Merges each row in the selected range across the columns in the range
  • Unmerge Cells – Reverses the merge and returns the merged cell back to a range of individual cells

Let’s talk about each option and go through a few examples along the way.

How to merge cells

Start by selecting the range of cells that you want to merge into a single cell. In this example, cells A9 through A11 will be merged.

how to merge cells in excel merge cells step one

  

Once you’ve selected the range that you want to merge, navigate to the drop-down menu next to the ‘Merge & Center’ button and click the arrow.

 

how to merge cells in excel merge cells step two

 

Your merging options will appear and you should select ‘Merge Cells.’ 

how to merge cells in excel button

  

Once you’ve selected to ‘Merge Cells,’ an ‘Alert’ will pop up reminding you that merging the cells will only keep the content that’s in the upper-left cell of the range. If you’d like to proceed, click ‘OK.’

how to merge cells in excel alert

  

Now your cells should be merged! Cells A9 through A11 have been merged into one cell and now have one cell reference, A9.  

how to merge cells in excel result

 

Notice that the cell content is not centered here.

How to merge and center cells

Merge and centering cells is very similar to what we just covered, but instead, the cell content will be centered horizontally once you’re done.

To start, select the cells you want to merge. In this case, cells A13 and A14.

how to merge cells in excel merge and center step one

 

After you’ve highlighted the cell range, navigate to the top banner on the HOME tab and click the ‘Merge & Center’ button.

how to merge cells in excel button

 

Just as in the example above, an ‘Alert’ will pop up to ensure you want to merge cell content. Press ‘OK.’

how to merge cells in excel alert

 

Your cells are now merged and centered! Notice the difference between the cells that were merged and those that were merged and centered. 

how to merge cells in excel merge and center result

  

How to merge across cells

While there is no need to merge across data in this specific example, the data in the following example won’t be correct. But for the purposes of showing you how to use the merge across feature, see below. 

Just like the previous examples, you’ll start by highlighting the range of cells you want to merge across.

Note: Merging across will combine each row in the selected range across the columns in this range. This will not merge the data into one cell. 

how to merge cells in excel merge across step one

  

Once you’ve selected the range that you want to merge, navigate to the drop-down menu next to the ‘Merge & Center’ button and click the arrow.

how to merge cells in excel merge across step two

 

Your merging options will appear and you should select ‘Merge Across.’ 

how to merge cells in excel merge across button

  

An ‘Alert’ will pop up for each row to ensure you want to merge cell content. So in this particular example, the alert populated three times because I highlighted three rows. Press ‘OK’ for each. 

how to merge cells in excel alert

  

Your cells are now merged and centered! Notice that each row was merged across each column selected.

how to merge cells in excel merge across result

 

How to unmerge cells

In some cases, you might want to unmerge the cells that have been previously merged. To do so, select the cell reference that you want to unmerge. In this example, cell A9.

how to merge cells in excel unmerging

  

Once you’ve selected the range that you want to merge, navigate to the drop-down menu next to the ‘Merge & Center’ button and click the arrow. 

how to merge cells in excel unmerging step two

 

Your merging options will appear and you should select ‘Unmerge Cells.’ 

how to merge cells in excel unmerge cells button

  

And voilá! Your cells are now separated once again.

how to merge cells in excel unmerged cells

 

You’re ready to merge cells in Excel!

In this article, we’ve covered everything you need to know about how to merge and unmerge cells in Excel!

Now grab your computer and dive into Excel to give it a try for yourself!

Did you enjoy this article? Read how to make a line graph in Excel and how to add in Excel.

Also check out how project management can help you manage all of your Excel-based projects.

Jordan Wahl
Author

Jordan Wahl

Jordan Wahl is a content marketing specialist who joined G2 Crowd after graduating with her BBA in Marketing from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Originally a small-town girl from Wisconsin, Jordan is fairly new to Chicago and is loving exploring the city. In her free time, you can almost always find her bopping around to her favorite music or laughing at jokes that probably aren't that funny.