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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to merge and shut down cells in Microsoft Excel

How to merge and shut down cells in Microsoft Excel

Merge and deselect cells in Microsoft Excel is a great way to keep the worksheet clean, well-organized and easy to understand. The most common use is to create a heading to identify the contents of several columns, but regardless of the reason, it can be done quickly in Excel.

Note that Excel does not allow you to split a cell in the same way you can in a Microsoft Word table. You can amplify cells that you have previously merged.

Merging Cells

Combined cells combine two or more cells into a single cell. To do this, select the cells that you want to merge.

 Highight cells in Excel

Then click on "Merge and Center" on the "Home" tab.

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As the name suggests, this will merge the selected cells. Each text in the cells will be centered by default.

 Merged cells in Excel

As you can see, the Al, B1 and C1 cells are merged into a single cell. There are also other options to choose from. To access these options, click the arrow next to "Merge and Center" and a drop-down menu will appear.

 dropdown options

These options are relatively straight forward. One thing to note is that "merge over" merely joins the selected cells in a row, but not the cells in a column.

So what happens if we merge cells that already have content in them? This is something you have to be very careful about. Merge cells with already existing data only holds the upper left value and discards all other values. This means that all data except the data in the upper left cell will be deleted . Microsoft will give you a warning message before merging the cells, but make sure you understand that data will get lost before proceeding.

Unmerging Cells

Unmerging cells divide previously joined cells back into individual cells. Doing so is as easy as selecting the merged cells and then clicking the "Merge and Center" button again to switch the setting off. Similarly, you can click the arrow next to "Merge and Center" to get to the drop-down menu, and then click "Unmerge Cells."

 Unmerge Cells

If you turn off a cell that contains data, all data is located in the upper left cell and all other cells will be empty.

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