How to Merge Cells in Google Sheets: A Step-by-Step Guide

Merging cells in Google Sheets is a straightforward process. Simply select the cells you want to merge, right-click, and choose “Merge cells” from the dropdown menu. You can also find this option in the toolbar. After merging, the content of the top-left most cell will be the one displayed in the merged cell.

After you complete the action of merging cells in Google Sheets, the selected cells will become one larger cell. This is particularly useful when you want to create headers or labels that span across multiple columns or rows.


Merging cells in a spreadsheet might seem like a small task, but it can make a significant difference in the readability and organization of your data. In Google Sheets, merging cells is an essential skill that can help you create more polished and professional-looking spreadsheets. Whether you’re a student organizing your data for a project, a business professional preparing a report, or just someone trying to keep their personal budget in order, knowing how to merge cells can make your work easier and more visually appealing.

But why is it important to merge cells? Imagine you have a spreadsheet with a lot of data, and you want to label a group of columns with a single header. Without the ability to merge cells, you’d have to repeat the header label in each cell, which is not only time-consuming but also looks messy. By merging the cells, you can create one big header that spans across the columns, making your spreadsheet cleaner and easier to understand. Merging cells can also help in aligning the data properly and making the spreadsheet more navigable for anyone who may need to use it.

How to Merge Cells in Google Sheets

Before diving into the steps, understand that merging cells will combine multiple cells into one larger cell. This can help in organizing your data, especially for headers or categories that encompass multiple columns or rows.

Step 1: Select the Cells

Select the cells you want to merge by clicking and dragging your cursor across them.

Once you’ve selected the cells, they will be highlighted, indicating that they are ready to be merged.

Step 2: Right-Click and Choose “Merge Cells”

Right-click on the highlighted cells and choose “Merge cells” from the dropdown menu.

You can also find the “Merge cells” option in the toolbar at the top of the Google Sheets page. It’s represented by an icon with two arrows pointing towards a single cell.

Step 3: Choose Merge Options

Choose from the merge options: Merge all, Merge horizontally, or Merge vertically.

“Merge all” combines all the selected cells into one. “Merge horizontally” only merges the cells in each row, while “Merge vertically” merges the cells in each column.


Organized DataMerging cells helps in organizing your data, making it easier to read and analyze.
Visually AppealingIt creates a more polished look for your spreadsheets, which can be beneficial for presentations or reports.
Better NavigationIt improves the navigability of your spreadsheet, allowing users to locate information more efficiently.

Organizing data is one of the key benefits of merging cells. It reduces clutter and makes your spreadsheet more structured. When headers or labels span across the necessary columns or rows, it becomes easier to understand the categorization of data.

Having a visually appealing spreadsheet is important, especially if you’re sharing it with others. Merged cells create a cleaner look by eliminating unnecessary repetition of text or numbers across multiple cells.

Efficient navigation through a spreadsheet is essential, especially when dealing with large amounts of data. Merged cells can help guide the user’s eyes across the spreadsheet, making it easier to locate and refer to specific data.


Limited Data InputMerged cells can only display the content of the top-left most cell, limiting the amount of data that can be inputted.
Inflexible RangeMerging cells can make it difficult to sort or filter your data, as the range of cells is now inflexible.
Potential for ConfusionIf not done correctly, merging cells can lead to confusion and misinterpretation of the data.

One limitation of merged cells is the restriction on data input. Since only the content of the top-left most cell will be displayed, you can’t input different data in the other cells that were merged.

Merging cells can also affect how you sort or filter your data. Since the cells are combined, you can’t sort or filter them individually anymore, which could be an inconvenience depending on your needs.

Improperly merging cells can lead to confusion. If someone else is using the spreadsheet, they might not realize that cells have been merged, leading to misinterpretation or even data loss if they attempt to unmerge the cells without understanding the implications.

Additional Information

When merging cells in Google Sheets, it’s essential to remember that the content of the top-left cell will be the one preserved. So, if there’s data in the other cells that you don’t want to lose, make sure to copy it elsewhere before merging. Additionally, consider the implications of merging on the functionality of your spreadsheet. If you plan to apply filters or sorting, it might be better to use other methods to organize your data, such as text-wrapping or resizing cells.

Another tip is to use merged cells sparingly. While they can be great for headers and labels, overusing them can lead to a confusing and cluttered spreadsheet. It’s all about finding the right balance to enhance the presentation and functionality of your data.

Lastly, remember that merged cells can always be unmerged if you change your mind. Simply right-click on the merged cell and select “Unmerge cells” from the dropdown menu.


  1. Select the cells you want to merge.
  2. Right-click and choose “Merge cells.”
  3. Choose from the merge options.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I unmerge cells after merging them?

Yes, you can unmerge cells by right-clicking on the merged cell and selecting “Unmerge cells” from the dropdown menu.

Will merging cells affect my data?

Merging cells will only preserve the content of the top-left most cell, so make sure to copy any other data elsewhere before merging.

Can I still apply filters and sorts to merged cells?

Merged cells can make it challenging to sort or filter data, as they are treated as a single cell.

Is there a limit to how many cells I can merge?

There is no set limit, but keep in mind that overusing merged cells can make your spreadsheet difficult to navigate and understand.

Can I merge cells both horizontally and vertically at the same time?

Yes, by selecting “Merge all,” you can merge cells both horizontally and vertically at once.


Merging cells in Google Sheets is a simple yet powerful tool that can transform the look and functionality of your spreadsheets. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily organize your data into a more readable and aesthetically pleasing format. However, it’s crucial to use this feature judiciously to avoid any complications with data input, sorting, or filtering.

Always keep in mind the needs of your spreadsheet and the potential users who may interact with it. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, mastering the art of merging cells can greatly enhance your data management skills.

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