How to Merge Cells in Excel So They Span Multiple Columns

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Ever created an Excel worksheet and wish that one or more of your cells could span across two or more columns? Excel 2016 and previous recent versions have a "merge" feature which lets you span a cell across multiple columns. So, for example, if you have a table and you want to have a centered header row that cuts across the entire space, you can do that with the merge feature.

merged cells in header

However, it's important to note that the merge cells feature only causes a single cell to span across multiple columns; it does not combine the content from adjactent cells. So when you merge a series of cells, make sure that all but the leftmost are empty, because the content in any other selected cells will disppear (hitting CTRL + Z to undo will get it back). Here's how to merge cells in Excel 2016; these steps should also work in previous versions such as Excel 2013 and Excel 2010.

1. Select the cells that you want to merge. You select multiple cells in Excel by holding down the mouse button and dragging the cursor across columns or rows. 

select cells

2. Navigate to the Home tab in the office ribbon, if you aren't already there.

navigate to home button

3. Select Merge & Center or Merge Across (if you want the text left aligned) from the Merge & Center menu.

select merge and center

Your single cell will now take up two, three or more. If you change your mind,  you can hit CTRL + Z to undo right away or select Unmerge cells from the Merge menu later.

 

Author Bio
Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of Laptopmag.com since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
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