How to Merge Cells in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners


Michael Collins

If you’ve ever found yourself juggling multiple spreadsheets, you know how crucial it is to keep things tidy. One simple way to make your Excel sheets more organized is by merging cells. Merging cells in Excel is super easy and helps you combine multiple cells into one, making your data look cleaner and easier to read. Let me show you how in just a few simple steps.

Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Merge Cells in Excel

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to merge cells in Excel, either to make a header span across several columns or to combine data from different cells into one.

Step 1: Select the Cells You Want to Merge

Start by highlighting the cells you want to merge.

To do this, click and hold on the first cell, then drag your mouse to cover all the cells you want to merge. Make sure to release the mouse button once you’ve selected the desired range.

Step 2: Open the ‘Home’ Tab

Go to the ‘Home’ tab on the Excel toolbar.

The ‘Home’ tab is where you’ll find most of the basic formatting options. It’s located at the top of your Excel window.

Step 3: Click ‘Merge & Center’ Button

Find and click the ‘Merge & Center’ button in the alignment group.

This button is usually represented by an icon with two arrows pointing towards each other. Clicking it will merge the selected cells and center the content.

Step 4: Choose Your Preferred Merge Option

Click the drop-down arrow next to ‘Merge & Center’ to see other merging options.

You’ll see options like ‘Merge Across,’ ‘Merge Cells,’ and ‘Unmerge Cells.’ Pick the one that suits your needs best.

Step 5: Confirm the Merge Action

Excel will prompt you to confirm the merging action if there’s data in multiple cells.

If your selected cells contain any data, a warning will pop up saying that merging cells will only keep the upper-left value. Click ‘OK’ to proceed.

After completing these steps, your selected cells will merge into one large cell, either with or without centering the content, depending on the option you chose. Your spreadsheet should now look more organized and easier to read.

Tips for Merging Cells in Excel

  • Always double-check the data before merging cells, as it can sometimes result in data loss.
  • Use ‘Merge Across’ for creating headers that span multiple columns in the same row.
  • Use ‘Merge Cells’ without centering if you want to keep the original alignment of your data.
  • Remember to unmerge cells if you need to edit the data individually later.
  • Use the ‘Center Across Selection’ option as a non-destructive alternative to merging cells.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens to the data when I merge cells in Excel?

When you merge cells, Excel keeps the data from the upper-left cell and discards the rest. Be sure to copy any important information before merging.

Can I merge cells without losing data?

No, Excel merges cells by keeping the content of the upper-left cell and discarding the rest. To avoid data loss, consider using the ‘Center Across Selection’ option.

How do I unmerge cells?

To unmerge cells, select the merged cell, go to the ‘Home’ tab, and click the ‘Merge & Center’ button again. This will split the merged cell back to its original state.

Can I merge cells across different rows and columns?

Yes, you can merge cells across different rows and columns. Just select the range you want to merge and follow the steps outlined above.

Why can’t I merge cells in a protected worksheet?

If the worksheet is protected, you won’t be able to merge cells. Unprotect the sheet first by going to the ‘Review’ tab and clicking ‘Unprotect Sheet.’


  1. Select the cells you want to merge.
  2. Open the ‘Home’ tab.
  3. Click ‘Merge & Center’ button.
  4. Choose your preferred merge option.
  5. Confirm the merge action if prompted.


Merging cells in Excel is a handy trick that can make your spreadsheet look more professional and easier to navigate. While it might seem like a small detail, it can have a big impact on how your data is presented and understood. Whether you’re creating a dashboard, preparing a report, or simply trying to keep things organized, this simple feature can be a game-changer.

Don’t forget to explore other formatting options within Excel to make your data even more visually appealing. And always remember, while merging cells can make things look cleaner, make sure it doesn’t lead to losing important data. Feel free to dive deeper into Excel’s features to become even more efficient in managing your spreadsheets. Happy Excel-ing!