Simplifying Your Data with Google Sheets – How to Merge Cells

how to merge cells in google sheets


Google Sheets is a versatile and user-friendly spreadsheet software that has become a staple in countless offices and homes around the world. One of its most valuable features is the ability to merge cells, which allows you to organize and present your data in a more visually appealing and structured manner. In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of merging cells in Google Sheets, from the basic merging techniques to more advanced applications.

Basic Cell Merging

1.1. Merging Across Columns

The most fundamental aspect of merging cells in Google Sheets is combining the content of two or more adjacent cells into a single cell, effectively expanding the cell’s dimensions. To do this

1. Select the cells you want to merge by clicking and dragging over them.

2. Navigate to the “Format” menu at the top.

3. Choose “Merge cells” and select “Merge all.”

This action merges all the selected cells into one, taking the content from the upper-left cell in the selection and discarding the data in the other cells.

1.2. Merging Across Rows

You can also merge cells vertically across rows to create a header that spans multiple rows. To achieve this

1. Select the cells you want to merge vertically.

2. Navigate to the “Format” menu.

3. Choose “Merge cells” and select “Merge vertically.”

This process combines the selected cells into one, with the content from the upper-left cell becoming the header.

Advanced Cell Merging Techniques

2.1. Centering Merged Cells

Once you’ve merged cells, you might want to ensure that the content is centered within the cell to improve readability. To center the text in a merged cell

1. Select the merged cell.

2. Go to the “Format” menu.

3. Choose “Text alignment.”

4. Select “Center” from the options provided.

This will center the text both horizontally and vertically within the merged cell, making it more visually appealing.

2.2. Unmerging Cells

If you’ve merged cells but later decide that you want to revert them to their original state, you can unmerge them

1. Select the merged cell.

2. Navigate to the “Format” menu.

3. Choose “Merge cells” and select “Unmerge.”

This action will separate the merged cell back into its individual component cells, restoring the original data.

2.3. Merging Non-Adjacent Cells

While merging adjacent cells is straightforward, you may want to merge cells that are not directly adjacent to each other. To do this, follow these steps

1. Select the first cell you want to merge.

2. Hold down the Ctrl key (Cmd key on Mac) and select the additional cells you want to merge.

3. Proceed with the merging steps as mentioned in sections 1.1 or 1.2.

This technique allows you to merge cells that are not contiguous, enabling you to create custom structures for your data.

Practical Applications

3.1. Creating Headers

Merging cells is commonly used to create headers for tables, making it easier to label and categorize different sections of your spreadsheet. This can significantly enhance the clarity and organization of your data.

3.2. Improving Aesthetics

Merged cells can also be used to enhance the visual appeal of your spreadsheet. You can merge cells to create custom headers and titles, making your data more aesthetically pleasing and easier to navigate.

3.3. Data Summary

Merging cells can be used to create summary sections in your spreadsheet. For instance, you can merge cells to present total values, averages, or any other calculated results in a clear and concise manner.

3.4. Gantt Charts and Timelines

Merging cells is useful when creating Gantt charts or timelines in Google Sheets. You can merge cells to represent longer time intervals or phases, helping to visualize project schedules more effectively.


How do I merge two cells in sheets?

First, select the cells you want to merge (cells C2 and D2). Then click Format on the Google Sheets top menu. Choose Merge cells from the drop-down menu. Select whether to Merge all, horizontally or vertically (more on these in a second).

Why can’t I merge cells in Google Sheets?

You can only merge all cells if they’re next to each other. If the cells aren’t continuous, the option to merge all won’t be available.


Merging cells in Google Sheets is a powerful tool that allows you to improve the structure and appearance of your spreadsheets. Whether you’re creating headers, enhancing aesthetics, summarizing data, or visualizing timelines, cell merging simplifies the presentation of your information. With the basic techniques and advanced applications discussed in this article, you can harness the full potential of Google Sheets to make your data more organized and visually appealing. So, next time you work on a spreadsheet, don’t forget to explore the cell merging feature and unlock its potential for a more polished and efficient document.

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