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How to Merge Cells in Google Sheets (Easy Ways)

December 5, 2023 331 views

Merging cells in Google Sheets allows you to combine multiple cells into one larger cell. This is useful for creating headers spanning columns or summarizing data from a cell range. In this comprehensive guide, you'll learn step-by-step methods to merge cells in Google Sheets on desktop and mobile.

How to Combine Cells in Google Sheets [In Easy Steps]

To merge cells in Google Sheets, follow these steps:


Step 1: Select the cells you want to merge by clicking on the first cell and drag your mouse across all cells to merge. Alternatively, click on the first cell, hold down Shift, and click the last cell:

Step 2: Once your cells are selected, navigate to the Format option in the menu at the top of Google Sheets.

Step 3: Find and click on the Merge cells option in the Format menu. A drop-down menu will appear.

Step 4: Choose Merge Type:

  • Merge all: The Merge all option combines all your selected cells into one cell.

  • Merge vertically: If you want to merge the cells one below the other in the same column.

  • Merge horizontally: If you want to merge the cells side by side in the same row.

Tips:

  • Alternatively, you can use the toolbar. Click on the “Merge cells” icon to merge all cells. Click the drop-down icon next to it for more options like merging horizontally or vertically.

  • To merge cells using the shortcut, select the cells you want to merge and press: "Alt" + "O" + "M" on Windows (or "Control" + "Option" + "O" + "M" on Mac). From the menu that opens, choose the desired action: "Merge all," "Merge horizontally," "Merge vertically," or "Unmerge."

How to Unmerge Cells in Google Sheets

To unmerge cells in Google Sheets, follow these steps:

Step 1: Select the merged cell you want to unmerge.

Step 2: Navigate to the Format tab, select Merge cells, and choose Unmerge. The merged cell will now be split back into multiple cells.

Alternatively, click the Merge cells icon, then choose Unmerge on the drop-down menu.

Note:

  • If you encounter difficulty merging cells, the cells may be locked. In such cases, you'll need to remove the cell protection.

  • Any data originally in the individual cells will be lost after unmerging. Only data from the top-left cell is retained.

How to Merge Cells in Google Sheets on Mobile

In Google Sheets for mobile, merging cells on mobile can create a cleaner, more organized spreadsheet. The process is straightforward, whether you're combining information or spanning cells for a specific layout.


Step 1: Open the Google Sheets app on your Android or iOS device.

Step 2: Create a new spreadsheet, choose a template, or open an existing one.

Step 3: Tap or highlight the two or more cells you want to merge.

Step 4: A new toolbar will appear at the bottom of your screen. Look for the Merge icon next to the text alignment tools.

Step 5: Tap the Merge icon to combine the selected cells. To unmerge, tap on this icon again.

Note:

  • Only the left-most text or numbers will be preserved if the cells contain content. A warning will pop up on mobile to confirm this.

How to Combine Columns in Google Sheets

This section will teach you how to combine columns in Google Sheets using four different methods: the CONCAT function, the Join function, and the Ampersand operator.

Method 1: Use the CONCAT function

Step 1: Enter the following formula into a cell:

=CONCAT(range1, range2, range3)

Step 2: Replace range1, range2, and range3 with the actual ranges of cells that you want to combine. For example, if you want to combine cells A1 and B1, you would enter the following into a cell:

=CONCAT(B3, C3)

Step 3: Drag the formula down to other cells to combine more columns of data.

Method 2: Use the JOIN function

Step 1: Enter the following formula into a cell:

=JOIN(delimiter, range1, range2, range3)

Step 2: Replace range1, range2, and range3 with the actual ranges of cells that you want to combine.

Step 3: Replace the delimiter with the character that you want to use to separate the items of data. For example, if you want to combine cells B3 and C3, and use an underline (_) as the delimiter, you would enter the following into a cell:

=JOIN("_", B3, C3)

Step 4: Drag the formula down to other cells to combine more columns of data.

Note:

  • When the delimiter is omitted, the result of JOIN is similar to that of CONCAT.

Method 3: Use the Ampersand operator

Step 1: Enter the following formula into a cell:

=range1&range2&range3

Step 2: Replace range1, range2, and range3 with the actual ranges of cells you want to combine and separate them with various characters. For example, if you want to combine cells B3 and C3, you would enter the following into a cell:

=B3&"_"&C3&""

Step 3: Drag the formula down to other cells to combine more columns of data.

The choice between the CONCAT function, Join function, and Ampersand operator depends on the complexity of the concatenation task. For simple tasks, the CONCAT function or Ampersand operator suffice. The JOIN function is preferable for more intricate tasks involving delimiters and numerous arguments.

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How to Merge Cells in WPS Office

Merging cells in WPS Spreadsheets is as easy as in Google Sheets, and can be done quickly with the Merge and Center button located in the Home tab.

Step 1: Select the cells needed to merge.

Step 2: Go to the Home tab and click the Merge and Center button.

Step 3: Choose the desired action from the list.

To unmerge, select the cell and click Unmerge cells on the drop-down menu.

FAQs

Are there limitations to the number of cells I can merge?

There is no strict limit, but it’s best to merge judiciously to prevent formatting issues or hidden data.

What happens to merged cell content if I sort the data?

Merged cells stay together as one unit when sorting in Google Sheets.

Summary

This guide covered easy methods to merge and unmerge cells, combine cell ranges, and entire rows/columns in Google Sheets on both desktop and mobile. Useful shortcuts were provided alongside step-by-step images. For a free, full-featured alternative to Excel, WPS Spreadsheets allow merging cells in the same straightforward way. It is fully compatible with Microsoft document formats.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.