#315 UN-merging Cells in Excel

Have you ever encountered problems with merged cells in a spreadsheet? Merging cells seems like a good idea, but they can interfere with sorting and filtering, and other things you might need to do.

Merged-Cell-Warning-Msg

Here are two alternatives that will help get you past this annoying warning message and on with the work at hand.

CENTER ACROSS SELECTION:

The alignment option to “Center Across Selection” is usually a better alternative to merging cells. It has the same visual effect but without causing any problems with sorting, filtering, etc. You can find this option along with all others on the Alignment tab of the Format Cells dialog box. ( CTRL +1 is a handy shortcut for getting there quickly. )

Center-Across-Selection

UNMERGING:

Did you know that you can UN-merge a cell back into separate cells?  In the newer versions of Excel (2007/2010) there is a super simple drop-down on the home tab that handles this job.

Unmerge-2010

In the older versions, you can select the merged cell and simply click the Merge & Center button a 2nd time to unmerge it.

TEXT TO COLUMNS:

For splitting single (non-merged) cells into multiple ones you should check out the Text to Columns function which we’ve covered before.

Check out a brief video of the Text to Column function in action here.

Text to Columns function: Before & After

Text to Columns function: Before & After

Interested in more details? Check out these ‘How To’ articles from Microsoft:

Do you use merged cells? Ever had any trouble with them? Leave a comment and let us know!

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