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Merge Cells in Excel

May 24, 2003 - by Bill Jelen

Bob asks,

I’ve seen a spreadsheet where for each cell in column A, they managed to have 2 or 3 rows in column B. How do I have cell A1 correspond with 3 rows in column B?

This effect is achieved by using the merge cells feature to merge cells A1, A2, and A3.

Here is how to to this:

  • Select cells A1 through A3.
  • From the menu, select Format, then Cells
  • On the Format Cells tab, go to the Alignment tab. Near the bottom left, check the box for Merge Cells. This will ensure that cell A1 is 3 rows high and will correspond to cells B1, B2, and B3.

The Excel default is that all text is aligned with the bottom of the cell. This would make your heading in cell A1 line up roughly with cell B3 instead of B1. I prefer to have the text in A1 appear at the top of the cell, so while you are in the Format Cells dialog, change the Vertical: dropdown to “Top”.

Keep in mind that there are limitations when using merged cells. You may not be able to sort this range, nor can you paste another range here that does not have identically merged cells.

Bill Jelen is the author / co-author of
MrExcel LX – The Holy Grail of Excel Tips

A book for people who use Excel 40+ hours per week. Illustrated in full color.