Excel Tutorial: How To Merge Cells In Excel 2020

Introduction


When it comes to organizing and presenting data in Excel, merging cells can be a valuable tool. Whether you're creating a report, a budget, or a presentation, merging cells can help you consolidate and improve the visual appeal of your spreadsheet. In this tutorial, we will cover the basics of merging cells in Excel 2020, including when and how to do it, and some common pitfalls to avoid.


Key Takeaways


  • Merging cells in Excel can help consolidate and improve the visual appeal of your spreadsheet
  • Step-by-step instructions for selecting cells to merge and accessing the merge cells option in Excel
  • Tips for merging cells containing text and numerical data
  • Considerations for merging cells in different layouts and maintaining formatting
  • Advanced techniques such as using the merge and center feature and merging cells with conditional formatting


The basics of merging cells


Merging cells in Excel can be a useful tool for formatting and organizing your data. It allows you to combine multiple cells into one larger cell, which can be helpful for creating headers, titles, or simply for aesthetic purposes. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to merge cells in Excel 2020.

A. Step-by-step instructions on how to select cells to merge
  • Open your Excel spreadsheet and navigate to the worksheet where you want to merge cells.
  • Click and drag your mouse to select the range of cells that you want to merge. Make sure that the cells are adjacent to each other and form a rectangular shape.
  • Alternatively, you can select a single cell and then use the Shift+Arrow keys to expand the selection to include multiple cells.

B. How to access the merge cells option in Excel
  • Once you have selected the cells you want to merge, go to the "Home" tab on the Excel ribbon.
  • In the "Alignment" group, you will see the "Merge & Center" button. Click on the drop-down arrow next to it to reveal the merge options.
  • From the drop-down menu, you can choose to merge cells and center the content, merge cells across, or merge cells without centering the content.


Merging cells with text and numbers


Merging cells in Excel is a useful feature that allows you to combine multiple cells into one larger cell. This can be helpful for creating a cleaner and more organized spreadsheet. In this tutorial, we'll cover how to merge cells in Excel 2020, focusing specifically on merging cells containing text and numerical data.

A. Tips for merging cells containing text


  • Avoid merging cells with important data: When merging cells containing text, it's important to avoid merging cells that contain important data. Merging cells can make it more difficult to reference specific cells, so it's best to only merge cells that contain non-essential information.
  • Center-align the text: After merging cells containing text, it's a good practice to center-align the text within the merged cell. This can help improve the visual appearance of your spreadsheet and make it easier to read.
  • Use the "Merge & Center" button: Excel has a "Merge & Center" button in the Home tab toolbar that makes it easy to merge cells containing text. Simply select the cells you want to merge, and then click the "Merge & Center" button to merge the cells and center-align the text.

B. How to merge cells with numerical data


Merging cells containing numerical data follows a similar process to merging cells containing text. However, there are a few additional considerations to keep in mind.

  • Ensure consistency in data type: Before merging cells containing numerical data, ensure that the data type is consistent across all the cells you plan to merge. Merging cells with mixed data types can result in unexpected formatting issues.
  • Be mindful of calculations: If you plan to perform calculations on the merged cells, be aware that merging cells can affect the outcome of formulas. It's important to double-check any calculations after merging cells to ensure accuracy.
  • Consider using the "Merge Across" option: Excel's "Merge & Center" button also offers a "Merge Across" option, which merges the selected cells across each row individually. This can be particularly useful when merging cells with numerical data that need to be combined horizontally.


Merging cells in different layouts


When working with Excel, merging cells can be a useful feature for creating a more organized and visually appealing spreadsheet. However, the process of merging cells can vary depending on the layout of your data. In this tutorial, we will cover how to merge cells in both a single row or column layout as well as in a table or grid format.

A. Merging cells in a single row or column


In a single row or column layout, merging cells can be helpful for creating headings or titles that span across multiple cells. To merge cells in this layout:

  • Select the cells – Click and drag to select the cells you want to merge.
  • Click the "Merge & Center" button – Located in the Home tab of the Excel ribbon, click the "Merge & Center" button to merge the selected cells.
  • Choose the merge option – A drop-down menu will appear, allowing you to choose how you want to merge the cells. Options include merging and centering, merging across, and merging without centering.

B. Merging cells in a table or grid format


In a table or grid format, merging cells can be used to create a visually appealing layout or to combine cells for a specific purpose. To merge cells in this layout:

  • Select the cells – Click and drag to select the cells you want to merge. Keep in mind that you can only merge adjacent cells in Excel.
  • Click the "Merge & Center" button – Similar to the single row or column layout, click the "Merge & Center" button in the Home tab of the Excel ribbon.
  • Adjust the layout as needed – After merging cells, you may need to adjust the layout to ensure that the merged cells align with the rest of the table or grid.


Excel Tutorial: How to merge cells in excel 2020


Merging cells with formatting considerations


When merging cells in Excel, it's important to consider the formatting to ensure that your data looks professional and is easy to read.

A. How to maintain formatting when merging cells

1. Select the cells you want to merge: To begin, select the cells that you want to merge. This can be done by clicking and dragging your mouse over the cells, or by using the shift key and arrow keys to make the selection.

2. Navigate to the "Merge & Center" option: Once the cells are selected, navigate to the "Home" tab and locate the "Merge & Center" option in the "Alignment" group.

3. Choose the appropriate merge option: In the dropdown menu, choose the appropriate merge option based on how you want the cells to be formatted. Options include merging and centering, merging across, and merging without centering.

4. Adjust the formatting: After merging the cells, you may need to adjust the formatting to ensure that the text is properly aligned and looks professional. This can include adjusting font size, bolding or italicizing text, and adjusting cell borders.

B. Potential issues to be aware of when merging cells
  • Loss of data: Merging cells can result in the loss of data, particularly if there is content in the cells that are being merged. It's important to double-check that you're not merging cells that contain important information.
  • Alignment issues: Depending on the merge option chosen, you may encounter alignment issues with the merged cells. It's important to check the alignment and adjust it as needed to maintain a professional appearance.
  • Difficulties with sorting and filtering: Merged cells can cause issues with sorting and filtering data in Excel. If you plan to use these features, it's important to consider the impact of merged cells on these functions.


Advanced merging techniques


When it comes to merging cells in Excel 2020, there are advanced techniques that go beyond the basic merge function. These techniques can help you create more visually appealing and organized spreadsheets. Let's take a look at two advanced merging techniques: using the merge and center feature, and merging cells with conditional formatting.

Using the merge and center feature


The merge and center feature in Excel allows you to merge multiple cells into one and center the content within the merged cell. This is particularly useful when you want to create a title or heading that spans across multiple columns. Here's how to use this feature:

  • Select the cells – Highlight the cells that you want to merge.
  • Click on the "Merge & Center" button – This button is located in the "Alignment" group on the "Home" tab. Click on the small arrow next to the button to access additional merge options, such as merging across or merging without centering.
  • Choose the merge option – Select either "Merge & Center," "Merge Across," or "Merge Without Centering" based on your specific merging needs.

Merging cells with conditional formatting


Conditional formatting allows you to apply formatting to cells based on certain criteria. You can also use conditional formatting to merge cells based on specific conditions. Here's how to merge cells using conditional formatting:

  • Select the cells – Highlight the cells where you want to apply the conditional formatting.
  • Go to the "Home" tab – Click on the "Conditional Formatting" button in the "Styles" group.
  • Choose a conditional formatting rule – Select "New Rule" and then choose the criteria for merging the cells. For example, you can merge cells if the value is greater than a certain number or if it meets a specific condition.
  • Apply the formatting – Once you have set up the conditional formatting rule, choose the formatting options, including merging cells, to be applied when the condition is met.


Conclusion


In conclusion, we covered the key points of merging cells in Excel 2020, including selecting the cells, accessing the merge option, and adjusting the layout of the merged cells. It is essential to remember that merged cells can affect the functionality of certain Excel features, so use them sparingly and intentionally.

We encourage you to practice and explore further with merging cells in Excel. There are countless ways to use this feature to create visually appealing and organized spreadsheets. The more you experiment and familiarize yourself with merging cells, the more confident and proficient you will become with Excel.

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