Merging Cells in Excel with ‘Merge and Centre’ and ‘Centre Across Selection’

Merging cells is part of presenting the data in an understandable manner. It is a way to group the data under similar headings or merging data across more than one cell. This feature is available right from Excel 2003 version to Excel 2010 version. This feature has not changed one bit across the three versions.

Why merge cells?

There are various purposes to merge cells in excel. For example, in a spreadsheet, if you have a data that talks about grades of students in different subjects such as Math, Physics, Chemistry, etc., you can put the subjects in each cell separately and merge the cells above them to one cell to read ‘Subjects’.

In another example, you might need to show sales through 5 different financial years. Then you can merge 5 cells from A1 to E1 (in a row) and merge then to read as ‘Financial years’ or ‘FY’. Meanwhile in the cells below them, you can enter headings such as FY 2001-2002, FY 2002-2003, etc. Merging makes the data table look clear and simple.

Merging cells in Excel 2010

In Excel, merge cell function can be carried out in 2 different ways. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Some of them are completely avoided, while some of them are plain complicated.

Center across selection

The easiest ways to merge contents is to select continuous cells in either rows or columns, do a right click ? format cells ? alignment ? horizontal ? center across selection. The cells would have been merged and content in the cell would have aligned at the center. The catch here is that, if the cells contain multiple data, then the merging does not work properly. In fact, the cells will look just like separate cells. Hence, for merging, the data contained in those cells in reality must be just one single entry.

Advantage of this method is that, the cell’s properties and further usage are unaffected by merging. The cells can be selected separately for further work. For example, if you merge A1 to C1, the merged cell can be selected as A1 as a whole or as A1, B1 and C1 separately.

Merge and Centre

The button for merge and center or simple merging command is on the Home tab. Select the cells to be merged and click on the button that looks like this ?a?. This will align the data of the upper most right cell or the upper most left cell at the center. All the other data will be lost. The cells cannot be selected separately. For example, if you merge A1 to C1, the merged cell will be called A1.

Excel merge and center shortcut button is Alt+h+m+c in excel 2010. You can also use concatenation syntax to merge adjacent cells. But the concatenation is complicated and the first option is best for merging.

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