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How to merge cells in Google Sheets

Cells of the spreadsheet, unite!
By
March 1, 2022

One of the easiest ways to organize your Google Sheet is by merging specific cells. That way, you can label rows or columns and display data quickly. Here’s how to merge cells in Google Sheets.

See also: How to add, hide, and remove columns or rows in Google Sheets

SHORT ANSWER

To merge cells in Google Sheets, click Format--> Merge cells, then select how you want your cells to combine.


KEY SECTIONS 

How to merge cells in Google Sheets on a computer

We’re going to be using a contact list in our example. The goal is to combine the First Name and Last Name cells into one category. Open up your spreadsheet and get ready to follow along!

Like many tasks, merging cells starts by highlighting the cells you want to merge. In our example, we’ve highlighted cells A1 and B1.

select cells google sheets
Adam Birney / Android Authority

Once you’ve chosen your cells, click the Format tab and locate the Merge cells option to open a side menu. You’ll see a total of four options which we’ll break down below.

merge cells google sheets
Adam Birney / Android Authority

Merge all will combine vertical and horizontal cells, while Merge horizontally combines horizontally, only linking columns. Conversely, Merge vertically will connect vertically, only linking rows, and Unmerge will return cells to their original states.

We’ll select merge horizontally for this example as we’re combining the headers for two columns. Merge all would also work, though it’s no different in this case.

merge cells warning
Adam Birney / Android Authority

Caution: Because we’re combining two cells with text, we get a warning message that reminds us that only the left cell will keep its text. This isn’t a major problem as we’re combining the names anyway and have to change the column text.

highlight cell google sheets
Adam Birney / Android Authority

Once you merge the cells, you’ll see that the left cell has the same text as before. We’ll update the label to Name and change the alignment to Center. After all, it doesn’t look quite right to have the text off-balance in a wide cell.

center name google sheets
Adam Birney / Android Authority

That’s all there is to it! You can also undo a consolidation with the Unmerge option on the same menu.

How to merge cells in Google Sheets on Android or iOS

Combining cells on the Google Sheets mobile app is a little bit easier.

First, select the cells you wish to merge. Some phones will let you tap and drag, while on others, you have to move the little blue circles on the corners of the box to cover all the cells.

merge cells mobile
Adam Birney / Android Authority

Then, tap on the Merge cells shortcut, represented by two arrows pointing at each other.

You’ll get a warning that merging cells will only preserve the top-leftmost value. If that’s what you intend, click OK. To unmerge, you can tap the Undo arrow in the top left of the screen.


Read more: How to separate text into columns in Google Docs

FAQs

What is the shortcut for Merge Cells In Google Sheets?

The keyboard shortcut to merge cells is Alt+O, M, Enter for Windows and Ctrl+Option+O, M, Enter for Mac.

Alt+O opens the format menu, M selects the “Merge Cells” option, and lastly, Enter selects “Merge All.”

How do I merge cells in Google sheets without losing data?

The merge option will only preserve the top/left value in the set of cells selected. The rest of the data is lost.

To preserve data, you may instead want to combine the contents of multiple cells into one by using the function =CONCATENATE ().

Why can’t I merge cells in Google Sheets?

Your spreadsheet may be locked if you can’t use any of the above methods to merge cells. Check out our article on locked cells to learn what that means and how to fix it.