How to Merge Cells in Google Sheets (Easy Step-by-Step)

Watch Video – How  to Merge Cells In Google Sheets

In some cases, you would have a need to merge some cells and combine these together to make one single cell. These could be either merging cells in rows or columns (or both).

One practical example of this is when you have a header that is the same for multiple columns, and you need to merge the cells to make the header look like one (as shown below).

Data set where cells have been merged

In this tutorial, I will show you how to merge cells in Google Sheets (horizontally as well as vertically).

I will also cover some additional things you need to take care of when using Google Sheets to merge cells.

So let’s get started!

What Is Merging Cells In Google Sheets

Merging cells in Google Sheets means combining cells into one. This usually happens without affecting the rest of the cells. The Google Sheet merge cells option has three options to merge all, horizontally, and vertically. This means you can merge rows in Google Sheets as well as columns.

Merging cells is useful for extending titles or texts across multiple cells. It’s also useful when you’re making categories in your data and when making dashboards.

It is important to note that merging cells is different from merging texts. When you merge a cell, it will only retain the values in the first cell, while when combining text, you retain all the values, and you can use functions like the JOIN function.

How to Merge Cells In Google Sheets

Suppose you have the dataset as shown below, and you want to merge the header row that has the text “Store #”.

Below are the steps to merge these cells:

  1. Select the cells that you want to merge
  2. Click the Format option in the menu
    Click the format tab
  3. Click on Merge cells option
  4. In the options that appear, click on ‘Merge horizontally.
    Click on Merge Horizontally

The above steps would merge the three cells and make them one.

Another way to access the merge options is through the toolbar. When you click on the Google Sheets ‘Merge cells’ icon, it will merge all the cells. And if you click on the drop-down icon next to the merge button, it will show other options, such as merging horizontally or vertically.

Merge cells icon in the toolbar

Important Note: When you merge cells that already have some content in the cell, the final merge cell will only retain the content of the top-leftmost cell. The rest of the content will be lost. Thankfully, when this situation comes, Google Sheets will warn you with a prompt (as shown below) and only merge the cells when you click on OK.

How to Merge Cells In Google Sheets for iOS and Android?

There are two easy steps to merge cells on your mobile device in Google Sheets:

  1. Select the cells you wish to merge. Some phones will let you tap and drag. On others, you just have to move the little circle on the corner of the blue box to cover all the cells.
  2. Example of merged cells on mobile
  3. Click on the Merge button at the bottom.
    How to merge cells on Google Sheets mobile

This will immediately merge the cells you selected.

Another example of how to merge two cells in Google Sheets mobile is:

  1. Select the cells.
  2. Go to format.
Go to format.
  1. Tap the Cell tab.
Tap Cell.
  1. Toggle on the Merge option.
Toggle on the Merge option.

It is important to note that the Google Sheets app for mobile doesn’t have the options for how to merge columns in Google Sheets or rows. It can only merge all the cells that have been selected.

The Merge Cells Keyboard Shortcut In Google Sheets

There may not be a direct “how to merge cells in Google Sheets shortcut,” but there are still shortcuts that you can use to make your workflow faster.

Here’s how:

  1. Select the cell you want to merge.
  2. Hold and click Alt + O + M. This will take you directly to the merge options.
  3. Select Merge all.

Different Types of Merge Options in Google Sheets

If you followed the steps above, you would have already noticed that there are the following types of merge options:

  • Merge all
  • Merge horizontally
  • Merge vertically
Types of merge options

Let me quickly explain each of these Google spreadsheets merge cells options.

Merge All

When you use the ‘Merge all’ option, it will merge all the cells, and you will get the result which is one big merged cell (as shown below).

Merge All example

Note that this option only becomes available when you have selected a contiguous range of cells. If you select a non-contiguous range of cells, you will notice that this option is grayed out.

Merge Horizontally

When you select more than one row and use this option, cells in each row will be merged (as shown below).

Merge Horizontally Example

In case you have only selected the cells in one row, then Merge all and Merge horizontally would do the same thing.

Merge Vertically

This option is for how to merge cells vertically in Google Sheets. When you select more than one column and use this option, cells in each column will be merged (as shown below):

Merge Vertically Example

In case you have only selected one column, then ‘Merge vertically’ and ‘Merge all’ would do the same thing.

Issues When Learning How to Merge in Google Sheets

While using merged cells, there are a few things you need to know.

Can’t Sort Columns with Merged Cells

The first issue with merge cells is that you can not sort a column that has merged cells.

If you try and do that, it will give you an error, as shown below.

Screenshot for can't sort merged cells error

Copies merged cells and not the value.

If you have three cells merged together with some text in it and you copy and paste this somewhere else in the worksheet, the result would be merged cells (with the same text and formatting).

In case you only want to copy and paste the content of the merged cells and do not get the result which itself are merged cells, you need to copy and then paste it as value.

So there are a few issues you need to keep in mind when working with merged cells in Google Sheets.

And in case you need to unmerge cells, you can easily do that. Simply select the cells that are merged, go to Format –> Merged cells, and then click on Unmerge.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Merge Cells Into One Row?

Can you merge cells in Google Sheets? Yes, you can! You just have to use the merge horizontally option from the menu. If you’re unsure what that is, we covered it above in the main text of this article.

Why Can’t I Merge Cells on Google Sheets?

If you can’t use any of the above-mentioned methods to merge cells, your spreadsheet might be locked. We have an article about locked cells that will help explain what that means and how to fix it.

Is There a Way to Merge Cells In Google Sheets Without Losing Data?

Unfortunately, there’s no native way to merge data from multiple cells in Google Sheets. Buy, you can use an add-on like this Merge Cells that will allow you to do it. To use it:

  1. Follow the link above
  2. Install the add-on
  3. Highlight the cell range you want to merge
  4. Navigate to Extensions>add-ons>Merge Cells
  5. Select how you want your data to combine from the available options
    An add on to merge data

Wrapping Up

That’s all there is to know about how to merge cells in Google Sheets.

I hope you found this tutorial useful! You can also learn more from our guide on how to mail merge in Google Sheets.

If you want to learn more about Google Sheets, we recommend you take a full Google Sheets course. On the other hand, if you want to skip to fully finished premium workbooks check out our templates library where you can use the code SSP for 50% off.

Other Google Sheets tutorials you may find useful:

Most Popular Posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

Thanks for visiting! We’re happy to answer your spreadsheet questions. We specialize in formulas for Google Sheets, our own spreadsheet templates, and time-saving Excel tips.

Note that we’re supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission at no extra cost to you.

Like what we do? Share this article!