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How to merge and separate cells in Microsoft Excel

How to merge and separate cells in Microsoft Excel

Merging and separating cells in Microsoft Excel is a great way to keep your spreadsheet clean, well-organized, and easy to understand. The most common use is to create a header to identify content in multiple columns, but for whatever reason, it can be done quickly in Excel.

Note that Excel does not allow you to divide a cell in the same way that you can divide a table in Microsoft Word. You can separate the cells you previously combined.

Join the cells

Cell Merge combines two or more cells into a single cell. To do this, select the cells you want to merge.

Highlight cells in Excel

Then, on the «Home» tab, click the «Merge and Center» button.

Merges and centers

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

Combined cells in Excel

As you can see, cells A1, B1 and C1 were merged into a single cell. There are other options to choose from. To access these options, click the arrow next to «Merge and Center» and a drop-down menu will appear.

scrolling options

These options are relatively simple. One thing to keep in mind is that «Merge Through» merges only the selected cells in a row, but not the cells in a column.

So what happens if we merge cells that already have content? This is something you need to be very careful about. Merging cells with existing data only retains the value from the top left and discard all other values. That means I know will eliminate all data except those in the top left cell . However, Microsoft gives you a warning message before merging cells, but make sure you understand that data will be lost before continuing.

Cell separation

The separating cells divide the previously condensed cells back into individual cells. Doing this is as easy as selecting the merged cells and then clicking the «Merge and Center» button again to disable the setting. Similarly, you can click the arrow next to «Merge and Center» to access the drop-down menu, and then click «Separate Cells.»

Separate the cells

If you separate a cell that contains data, all data is placed in the top left cell and all other cells will be empty.

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