One of the easiest formatting improvements you can make is to merge cells in Excel. This is very commonly done when creating summary tables, headers, and otherwise cleaning up a sheet so it presents well.
Let’s take a look at table below:
The table details the sales in September for a variety of cities. Merging the three cells above the table will help the title stand out a bit more.
Step 1: Select the cells you want to merge
In our example, we’ve selected the cell containing the text “September Sales” as well as the other two cells above the table. (Note: Merging cells will only keep the text/data that is in the upper left most cell you want to merge). If there was text above the word “City” or above “Sales”, that data is lost when you merge cells.
Step 2: Select Merge & Center from the home page.
Let’s look at the finished product:
It’s looking a lot better. Before we finish formatting our table with some final tweaks, you should know there’s a very easy to use keyboard shortcut to access the same home page drop-down button. The video below from our Instagram channel demonstrates that shortcut (ALT+H+M+C)
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Step 3: Spruce up your table to make it stand out against the standard Excel background.
Even though we learned how to merge cells in Excel, let’s take this table one step further and make it more presentable.
The first step in doing that is removing gridlines. In the “View” tab, click “Gridlines” to remove them from being shown on this tab.
Let’s add a border around each cell and bold the title.
- To bold the title, click CTRL+B while selecting it.
- To add borders, select “All Borders” from the homepage dropdown menu:
This looks much better. By learning how to merge cells in Excel, we cleaned up a summary table of September Sales. It has been transformed from raw looking data into something you can actually use as part of a presentation, screenshot, or otherwise share.
If you’re looking to improve your ability to clean up worksheets and data in Excel, check out our exclusive course on data cleanup. For even more examples of merging cells, check out this post on Ablebits.com