Are you struggling to organize data in your Excel spreadsheet? Merge cells to quickly create a well-structured table with ease. You can learn how to do it here.
How to Select Cells in Excel
Excel can be both amazing and frustrating. It all depends on how you know how to use it. One of the basics of Excel is selecting cells. But, that can be tricky. In this article, I’ll help you learn how to select cells with ease. First, we’ll look at choosing one cell. Then, we’ll work on selecting multiple cells. Lastly, I’ll show you how to select a range of cells. This is great for when you have to merge cells.
Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by Joel Woodhock
Selecting a Single Cell in Excel
To select a single cell in Excel, use either the mouse or keyboard shortcuts.
- With the mouse: Click on the desired cell.
- With the keyboard: Use the arrow keys to navigate to the cell, then press Enter.
For a fast selection without scrolling through a large worksheet, use the Name Box. Type the name of the cell (e.g. A1) and press Enter.
Or, use the Go To command by pressing Ctrl + G. This will open the Go To dialog box where you can specify which cell or range of cells to select.
Checking that the correct cell is active before making changes like merging cells or entering data is important for efficient work flow.
Now, let’s learn how to select multiple cells at once for easier work:
Selecting Multiple Cells in Excel
Selecting multiple cells in Excel is easy! Just follow this 3-Step guide.
- Step 1: Click and hold on an empty cell. Drag your mouse through the cells you want to select. Release the mouse button once done.
- Step 2: If you want to select non-adjacent cells, hold down the Ctrl key while clicking each one.
- Step 3: To select adjacent cells, click a cell and then use the Shift + Arrow keys (Up/Down/Left/Right). Pro Tip: To reverse your selection instantly, press “Ctrl+Shift+“.
Selecting a range of cells works similarly. Select an entire block of data within a range (e.g., A1:F12). It’s just like the 3-Step guide, but with minor changes.
Selecting a Range of Cells in Excel
Click on the cell where you want to begin your selection. Drag the mouse pointer over the contiguous cells. Hold the mouse button until all of the desired cells are highlighted. Click on the headers above or beside your selection and drag them downward or sideward to select adjacent rows and columns. When finished, release the left click. The background colors of those selected will change.
When selecting non-contiguous data, click on a cell and hold down either the Shift key (for adjacent areas) or Control key (for non-adjacent areas). Click each additional cell or range needed.
Tashi had a situation where they had to select columns with hundreds of thousands of records across vertical columns which required various formulas. With these methods and some creative use of control/shift keys, they were able to sort through it quickly.
Merging Cells in Excel allows us to combine two or more separate cells into one unit. This lets us enter headings over groups of row titles or column names, instead of individual ones that may look messy.
How to Merge Cells in Excel
New to Excel? Don’t know how to merge cells or why it’s important? Merging cells can give your spreadsheet a better look. Here’s a step-by-step guide. We’ll go over scenarios where you’d want to merge cells, like centering text or spanning a title across multiple columns/rows. Once done, you’ll be able to master merging cells with Excel!
Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by Joel Washington
Merging and Centering Cells in Excel
Merging and centering cells in Excel can be helpful. Here’s how to do it:
- Select the cells you want to merge.
- Click “Merge & Center” in the “Alignment” section of the “Home” tab. Alternatively, right-click and choose “Merge Cells”.
- The merged cells should now be centered horizontally.
Be aware, only the content of the upper-left cell is kept. All other data is deleted. So, if you have other cells with text or values, they will vanish.
To keep all data, use CONCATENATE instead. This formula lets you combine text from multiple cells without deleting anything.
Remember, merging and centering should be used only for formatting, not data analysis or calculations. When dealing with large sets of data, break them into separate columns.
I once made a mistake and merged two important columns. Hours of work were wasted because of incorrect data analysis. So, make sure to double-check before merging cells or making major changes.
Now, let’s explore how to merge cells across columns without losing any data.
Merging Cells Across Columns in Excel
Once chosen, right-click on your cells and pick “Format Cells” from the pop-up menu.
In the dialog box, go to the Alignment tab and check “Merge cells”.
Choose how to align your text. There are options under “Horizontal” and “Vertical”.
Click OK to combine the cells. Content in these cells will now be in one cell.
Be careful! Merging cells across columns will delete or move data in nearby cells.
I found out how easy it was to merge cells across columns in Excel when I was doing a project. Typing everything out was taking too long.
In my next section I’ll show you how to merge cells across rows in Excel. Handy for organizing your data!
Merging Cells Across Rows in Excel
Select the cells you want to merge, then click on the “Home” tab at the top of Excel. In the “Alignment” section, click on the “Merge & Center” option. Decide if you want to merge and center your data, or just merge it without centering. Click “OK” and the cells will be merged across rows.
If needed, adjust column widths to make the data visible.
Keep in mind that any formatting or formulas within the cells being merged will be lost. To prevent losing important data, copy and paste the information into a separate worksheet before merging. Also, be careful to only select the cells you want to merge – selecting extra rows or columns could lead to unexpected results.
Finally, unmerging cells in Excel is just as important for keeping spreadsheets organized and accurate.
How to Unmerge Cells in Excel
Merge cells in Excel? Brilliant! But, it can be tricky to unmerge them without losing data. Here’s how to do it:
- Unmerge just one cell first.
- Then, unmerge a range of cells.
Voila! You can now edit your Excel spreadsheet without any fuss.
Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by Harry Jones
Unmerging Cells in Excel
Unmerging cells in Excel is easy! Just follow these four steps:
- Find the merged cell to be unmerged.
- Select the cell.
- Click the “Merge & Center” button on the “Home” tab.
- Choose the “Unmerge Cells” option from the drop-down menu.
Remember, when you unmerge cells, any content in the original merged cell will remain in one of the new cells. Formatting and resizing these new cells may need to be done manually.
A genius tip for unmerging multiple cells at once: select an entire range of merged cells and follow Steps 3-4. This will unmerge all selected merged cells in one go – no need to repeat the process for each cell!
Unmerging All Cells in a Range in Excel
Select the merged cell or range of cells that you wish to unmerge. Right-click and choose “Format Cells” from the dropdown menu. In the Format Cells dialog box, go to the Alignment tab. Uncheck the “Merge cells” option and click on OK. Your selected cells will be unmerged.
Note: Any information that was in merged cells will be split among its corresponding individual cells.
Unmerging All Cells in a Range in Excel is necessary if you accidentally merge multiple cells together. It can also help inexperienced Excel users understand the functionality of their spreadsheets better.
A user I know once merged all the rows into one column without understanding what she was doing. This caused a problem for her boss who needed the records for a presentation. She had no way to pull out relevant figures and prepare impressive graphics or summaries.
Lastly, ‘How to Autofit Columns in Excel’ is useful when working with long cell values that get hidden within narrow columns.
How to Autofit Columns in Excel
In my Excel experience I’ve noticed, it’s the small things that make a difference. Autofit columns is an awesome formatting tool. I’ll show you how to use it for individual columns, worksheets, and ranges. Make your data look more organized with these tricks! It’ll be done in no time.
Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by Harry Arnold
Autofitting a Single Column in Excel
Autofitting a single column in Excel can save you lots of time and effort. To do this, click the header letter for the column you want to autofit. Double-click on the right border of the header cell. The width of the column will adjust automatically to fit all of the data. If you want to adjust it manually, click and drag on the right border until you get the desired width. Then, double-click the right border again to revert to automatic sizing.
You can also use the Merge Cells feature to combine two or more neighboring cells into one large cell spanning multiple columns/rows – handy when creating tables with headers and sub-headers.
Excel was first introduced for Macintosh computers by Microsoft Corporation in 1985. Now, let’s learn how to Autofit All Columns in a Worksheet – it’s easy and applies to all columns present!
Autofitting All Columns in a Worksheet in Excel
To Autofit All Columns in a Worksheet in Excel, follow these five steps:
- First, click the triangle at the top left of the grid. This will select the entire worksheet.
- Next, go to the “Format” tab in the ribbon menu and click “Autofit Column Width.” Alternatively, double-click on any column separator.
- Excel will then automatically resize all columns based on their content. This saves time, as manual adjustments take longer if there’s several columns. It also ensures that everyone involved can view all content when printing or sharing.
- Autofitting is especially helpful when working with large spreadsheets, or collaborating with people with different screen sizes and resolutions. By modifying column widths, your info displays neatly and attractively to everyone.
- Another tip: when pasting data from other sources, such as websites or PDFs, column width may not be automatic. Start autofitting, but only for cells where content was added manually (through “Paste Special”, “Values Only”). This technique avoids cells that are too small and cut off part of their content.
Finally, according to Microsoft Support, some cell formatting may be lost when copying data from one workbook to another (especially between different versions of Excel). It is best practice to check Autowidth whenever external data is added.
Autofitting All Columns in a Range in Excel
Autofitting All Columns in a Range in Excel is a time-saving way to organize data. Follow these steps to do it:
- Select the range of cells you want to autofit by clicking and dragging the cursor.
- Go to the ‘Home’ tab in the Excel ribbon and click the ‘Format’ dropdown menu in the ‘Cells’ group.
- Choose ‘Autofit Column Width’ under the ‘Cell Size’ subcategory.
To autofit specific columns only, select them before doing Steps 2-3.
This feature was first introduced in Microsoft Excel Version 95. It has since been upgraded and improved based on user feedback and usage.
FAQs about How To Merge Cells In Excel
How to Merge Cells in Excel?
Merging cells in Excel allows you to combine two or more cells into a single cell. This can be useful when you want to create a header cell that spans across multiple columns or rows. Here’s how to merge cells in Excel:
- Select the cells that you want to merge.
- Right-click on the selected cells and choose “Merge Cells” from the dropdown menu.
- The cells will now be merged into a single cell, with the contents of the upper-left cell displayed in the merged cell.
Nick Bilton is a British-American journalist, author, and coder. He is currently a special correspondent at Vanity Fair.