Knowing the intricacies of Excel is essential for organizing data, understanding analysis, and getting the most out of your marketing efforts. This tool is great for processing large amounts of data quickly, but it can be overwhelming if you don’t spend most of your work day stacking spreadsheets.
Fortunately, only a few basic skills are needed to put together an easy-to-read spreadsheet. One has to know how to merge Excel cells. Whether you’re planning blog articles for the coming quarter, creating a mailing list for a targeted campaign, or creating SEO-friendly Google ads, combining boxes is a convenient way to organize your information.
To improve your skills, we look at a number of ways to connect cells.
- How to Connect Two Cells |
- How to connect and center cells
- How to Merge Multiple Cells |
- Merge cells without losing data
- Shortcut to connect cells
- Why can’t I merge cells?
Don’t you want to start from scratch? Use them free excel templates based on your own marketing tables.
How to connect two cells in Excel
Merging is a way to turn two small cells into one new large cell. This is useful for organizing information and creating headers without the need to resize individual cells. Here’s how to do it.
Step 1: Highlight the two adjacent cells you want to merge (merge in example A1 and B1).
Step 2: All Home Click the “Connect” tab and select “Connect cells.”
Step 3: That’s it! You have merged the cells.
Note: When combining cells, only the data in the upper left corner is saved. Be sure to save the information in the second cell so that it is not lost. If you have data in both A1 and B1, Excel doesn’t easily wipe it. This warning will appear:
Don’t want to delete data? Click the “Cancel” button and copy / paste the information into a separate document or box before pasting. If you only need the information in the upper left corner, click “OK” to merge the cells.
Merge and center cells in Excel
Let’s say you’re creating a marketing report and you want your headlines to be concentrated above your data. Follow these steps to merge and center cells.
Step 1: Highlight the cells you want to merge.
Step 2: All Home Click the “Connect” tab and select “Connect and Center.”
Step 3: Your cells merge and the data is concentrated in the cell.
Merge cells in an Excel shortcut
If you click the correct “Merge” function, you can drag if you need to merge many cells. To start a quick merge, highlight the cells you want to merge. Then type the following key combinations.
Excel shortcuts for Windows
- Merge cells: ALT H + M + M
- Connection and center: ALT H + M + C
- Reconnect: ALT H + M + A
- Separate cells: ALT H + M + U
Excel shortcuts to the operating system
Apple’s operating system doesn’t have an ALT key, so you’ll need to set up your own shortcut to connect cells.
- Click the “Tools” button below the Excel navigation bar.
- Select “Customize keyboard”.
- A pop-up window will appear. There are two columns under the “Command Assignment” header: categories and commands. For categories, select the Home tab. Select “Merge Cells” for commands.
- Select “Press the new keyboard shortcut” below the text box. Enter a key combination for the shortcut. For example: CONTROL + M.
- Click OK to set the shortcut.
- You can now use CONTROL + M to join Excel cells.
- Set up additional shortcuts to connect the connection, cancel the connection, and cancel the hub or connection.
Merge multiple cells in Excel
You know the basics, but now you want to be creative and combine more than two cells. Depending on the layout of the spreadsheet you want, you can use the Merge, Merge Cells, or Merge and Center feature.
This option is used to merge cells in a row. You cannot use the Merge row to merge cells in a column or multiple rows.
In this example, I set up PPC ads and want to see my descriptive copy on line 17. If I simply resize column F, there’s too much space between columns F and G in my table. Combining multiple cells across row 17 allows me to view a copy and keep the table tidy.
Step 1: Highlight all the cells you want to merge.
Step 2: Click the “Connect” icon on the Home tab and select “Connect Collection”.
Step 3: The cells merge throughout the highlighted area.
2. Connect & Center
You can merge and center multiple cells in a row and below a column. Just remember that the data in the box in the upper left corner is the only information that remains after you connect. In the example below, I use rows 15, 16, and 17 to connect columns F, G, and H to ‘Connect and Center.’
3. Merge cells
The Merge Cells feature is ideal for merging multiple adjacent cells in rows and columns. It works exactly like the “Connect and Center” function, except that after merging, the data is aligned to the left, not to the center.
Merge cells in Excel without losing data
Do you want to merge the cells without losing information from all but the top left cell? Easy. You can use the ampersand (&) or CONCATENATE function to combine data from two or more cells.
In the example below, I’m making a copy for Instagram and want to combine the caption with the corresponding link.
Step 1: Select the cell where you want to place the merged data. Make sure it is separate from the cells you are merging.
Step 2: Enter = in the empty cell and select the first cell to be merged.
Step 3: Type & and use “” to leave a space between cell data.
Step 4: Type & again before selecting the next cell. Repeat for each cell you want to combine. The formula example is = D5 & “” & E5.
Step 5: Press the Enter key. In the example, you can see how the text in cells D5 and E5 was merged into F5.
CONCATENATE or CONCAT
The CONCATENATE (or CONCAT) function is another way to join two or more text strings.
The Excel formula is = CONCATENATE (text1, text2, …). Text1 is the first cell to join and can be a text value, a number, or a cell reference. The next joining element is Text2. You can combine up to 255 items or 8,192 characters for this function.
Step 1: Highlight the new blank cell where you want to paste the data.
Step 2: Type = CONCATENATE (
Step 3: A formula builder will appear that allows you to select Text1, Text2 and so on. Select the cells you want to merge from first to last. You must add the letter “” to the formula to add spaces between cell data. [i.e. =CONCATENATE(D5,” “,E5)]
Step 4: Press the Enter key. The data in the cells you selected will be merged into the CONCATENATE cell.
Why can’t cells merge in Excel?
A lot can go wrong if a formula or format is not set correctly. If you’re trying to merge cells, try these troubleshooting tips.
- Make sure you don’t actively change the cell you want to merge. The “Connect” icon is shaded when you’re in the middle of making changes. To fix this, just click “Enter” to finish editing, or click another cell before clicking back to the cell you want to merge.
- Check to see if one of the cells is part of an Excel spreadsheet. Tables have a unique format that does not allow merging. You can tell that you are in a table when the “Chart Layout” or “Format” tabs at the top of the workbook are highlighted in green and the “Merge” icon is shaded.
- See the sharing permissions for the Excel workbook. If it is not shared with you or is protected, you will not be able to make changes or merge cells.
How to disconnect cells
Maybe you got a little excited about trying new skills and connected one cell too much. Don’t panic. Expand your cells just by following these steps.
- Highlight the cells you want to merge.
- Accordingly Home Click the “Connect” tab and select “Merge cells.”
- Your cells will revert to their original format, but you’ve lost information before merging.
- If you need this information, click “Command” + Z (OS) or “CTRL” + Z (Windows) to undo your actions until you see a data pop-up.